The first day of the World Test Championship between India and New Zealand faced a pause owing to heavy rains in Southampton. Initially, the toss had to be resultantly delayed, with the whole thing being called off by 19:19 IST.
India topped the WTC table and not only dominated at home but also won major international series during this time period, with their victory in Australia in 2020-21 being the most significant of all. In the inaugural WTC, India won five and lost only one of the six series they played, with the one setback coming at the hands of New Zealand in a 2-0 thrashing at home.
Since losing to South Africa at home in 2017, New Zealand have had a tremendous run in Test cricket. Kane Williamson has ably directed the team, whose success has been largely based on the outstanding results achieved at home over the last two to three years. In comparison to India, New Zealand have experienced greater success in England on their last two visits. This is where they have an advantage over their renowned rivals.
The coverage started from 13:12 IST, reporting the downpour and the anticipated delay. Before the strike of 14:00, India’s lineup was out with New Zealand still having the liberty to decide on theirs. The officials were spotted inspecting a covered pitch with umbrellas in one hand. By 14:18, the first official verdict from the BCCI came along, saying that there would be no play in the first session of the day.
With perpetual raining here and there, the proceedings had to be delayed until around 17:30, which was when the rain halted. When over an hour passed with no rain, an official inspection was scheduled at 19:30. Although it induced some hope for the match to be possibly commenced, those soon shattered as the downpour resumed even before the inspection could happen. As of now, it is hoped that the play can be started on the next day at 15:00.