WTC Final LIVE: Virat Kohli chases first ICC trophy & first century in 20 months, can he deliver?

WTC Final LIVE - INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND LIVE: Virat Kohli chases first ICC trophy & first century in 20 months, can he deliver?
WTC Final LIVE - INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND LIVE: Virat Kohli chases first ICC trophy & first century in 20 months, can he deliver?

WTC Final LIVE – Virat Kohli: The ICC World Test Championship Final is about to start in the next two days & the Indian captain Virat Kohli faces one of the biggest challenge of his life. Kohli who has achieved almost everything what cricket has to offer is still searching for elusive ICC Trophy as captain of the Indian team. Not only this, Virat will also try to end his 20 months old century drought as undercooked India takes on well prepared World No. 1 test team New Zealand.

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WTC Final LIVE – INDIA vs NEW ZEALAND LIVE: Virat Kohli chases first ICC trophy & first century in 20 months, can he deliver?

WTC Final LIVE – Virat Kohli: Indian captain has been one of the best batsman in the world since last few years now. But as captain of India – he is yet to win ICC Trophy and this is his chance to accomplish what his predecessor MS Dhoni did on a regular basis.

On the biggest stage of the world cricket, Kohli also has a chance to end his century drought. Since last 20 months – he is yet to score an 100 in any format.

– It’s been 5 Test matches / 15 ODI’s since Kohli scored his last 100
– Kohli’s last 100 came against Bangladesh in Nov 2019
– His last century against New Zealand was in 2016

All of this can be changed in the WTC Final as the great man will attempt to score a daddy hundred at the grandest stage of cricket.

WTC Final LIVE – New Zealand looking to shed the bridesmaid tag

New Zealand are looking to shed the bridesmaids tag in big finals, having finished runners-up at the last two 50-overs World Cups. They were particularly unlucky in 2019 when England won the title via a now-scrapped boundary-count rule after the final ended in a tie even after a Super Over.

The WTC final presents them with another opportunity to become world champions and they look ready to grasp their chance, signalling their preparedness with a 1-0 series victory against England.

Particularly impressive was how the team under stop-gap captain Tom Latham, having made six changes to their squad, triumphed by eight wickets inside four days in Edgbaston.

WTC Final LIVE: India vs New Zealand all you want to know about Head to Head Stats and Road to finals

The one-off match at the Rose Bowl marks the culmination of a two-year cycle of the WTC, which was launched in 2019 to create Test cricket’s own pinnacle event.

The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) wanted the championship to bring relevance and context to Test cricket and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said it had been a success. “I think we saw it at the end of the competition, teams trying to push their case for qualifying which made way for a lot of exciting results,” the 30-year-old said last week.

“We saw in Australia, in New Zealand, a lot of teams had a chance to get through.”

The ICC is happy with how the WTC generated more interest in Test cricket.

“It was obvious that the interest in certain series wasn’t just restricted to the two teams involved,” ICC acting CEO Geoff Allardice told a virtual news conference on Monday.
It was coming from all over the cricketing world and I think to bring that sort of context to Test cricket is a real step forward.”

WTC Final LIVE: New Zealand clear Williamson, Watling for WTC final against India

Factbox on the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, which begins on Friday:
WHEN?
June 18-22 (11:00 local/10:00 GMT)

WHERE?
Rose Bowl, Southampton (4,000 restricted capacity)

PRIZE MONEY
Winner: $1.6 million
Runner-up: $800,000
MATCH OFFICIALS (all English)
Umpires: Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth
Third umpire: Richard Kettleborough
Match referee: Chris Broad

INDIA
World ranking: 2
Coach: Ravi Shastri
Captain: Virat Kohli

WTC Final LIVE: Indian Squad for WTC Final: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha.

NEW ZEALAND
World ranking: 1
Coach: Gary Stead
Captain: Kane Williamson

New Zealand Squad for WTC Final: Williamson, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young.

India vs New Zealand in ICC WTC Final: HOW DID THEY QUALIFY?
The top nine Test teams were originally scheduled to play six series each over two years, with the top two making the showcase final. But after the COVID-19 pandemic halted the game last year, the governing International Cricket Council decided to rank teams based on percentage of points (PCT) earned from completed matches, instead of total points, to determine the finalists.

India topped the WTC standings with 72.2 PCT after collecting 520 points. New Zealand were second at 70 PCT with 420, pipping England, who collected more points (442) but had a lower PCT (61.4).

WTC Final LIVE: India vs New Zealand finals start on Friday, catch it LIVE on STAR Sports Network & Disney+ Hotstar – follow ball by ball coverage on InsideSport.co

INDIA’S ROAD TO FINAL – WTC
West Indies v India – India won the series 2-0
India v South Africa – India won 3-0
India v Bangladesh – India won 2-0
New Zealand v India – India lost 2-0
Australia v India – India won 2-1
India v England – India won 3-1

NEW ZEALAND’S ROAD TO FINAL – WTC
Sri Lanka v New Zealand – Drew 1-1
Australia v New Zealand – New Zealand lost 3-0
New Zealand v India – New Zealand won 2-0
New Zealand v West Indies – New Zealand won 2-0
New Zealand v Pakistan – New Zealand won 2-0

WTC Final LIVE: LAST FIVE MEETINGS
2020: New Zealand won by seven wickets (Christchurch)
2020: New Zealand won by 10 wickets (Wellington)
2016: India won by 321 runs (Indore)
2016: India won by 178 runs (Kolkata)
2016: India won by 197 runs (Kanpur)

WTC Final LIVE: India vs New Zealand finals start on Friday, catch it LIVE on STAR Sports Network & Disney+ Hotstar – follow ball by ball coverage on InsideSport.co