WTC final: New Zealand bowlers need to be on top of their game on Reserve Day -
New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee said its exciting to land upon the final day of the World Test Championship final, knowing all three results are still on the cards. Southee said New Zealand will have their task cut out against the high-quality Indian batting line-up on the final day of the historic Test match.
Tim Southee said New Zealand hasnt thought too much about a particular target and said the first hour or two on Wednesday will decide which way the WTC Final will decisively turn.
India lost their openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill towards the end of play on Day 5. They managed to seal a lead of 32 runs but India are now under a bit of pressure to enforce things on Reserve Day. It was Southee who picked up the wickets of both the openers to dent Indias progress on Tuesday.
New Zealand sealed a 32-run first-innings lead after bowling out India for 217. Southee contributed with the bat, hitting two sixes in his 44-ball 30 to help New Zealand stretch their total to 249 after they were struggling at 135 for 5. Captain Kane Williamson remained rock solid and allowed the likes of Southee and Kyle Jamieson to attack from the other end.
India will resume their innings on the Reserve Day at 64 for 2 with their captain Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle. Southee believes the task of bowling India out is not going to be easy
But yeah, its exciting to end up on the last day of a Test match with three results still possible. Yeah, I think the first hour, first couple hours is very crucial tomorrow,
"We will rest and come back. We have a tough day ahead of us" Southee said after Day 5 in Southampton.
"But yeah, its exciting to end up on the last day of a Test match with three results still possible," he added.
"Its a quality Indian batting unit with two of their best batsmen out in the middle. We have to be on top of our game against the Indian batting. That first one or two hours is going to be crucial to how each side sets up the day," he added.
Kane Williamson trusted his defence
Southee also heaped praise on Kane Williamson for holding fort when New Zealand were in a spot of bother in their first innings. Williamson made just 49 from 177 balls but the time he spent with the likes of Jamieson and Southee proved crucial as New Zealand went from 162 for 6 to 249.
"He (Williamson) is a class player, and hes got a very sound defence that he was in full trust with, and as I say, it was a pretty testing time there with what the Indian pace attack was throwing at him," Southee said.
"We would have liked to get a few more, get a bit of a lead of over 50, but I think the Indian side were outstanding with the ball and put us under pressure at the start of the day. So for us to sneak past and get a 30-odd run lead was nice in the end," he added.
. The WTC title and the World Test Championship maze will be shared by India and New Zealand if the final ends as a draw. The two teams will also share the prize money.