Nasser Hussain feels New Zealand will start Day 5 of the World Test Championship Final on top and predicted the Blackcaps to emerge as the potential winners if they manage to take a handy first-innings lead. However, the former England captain warned that it could all turn around quickly due to the testing conditions.
New Zealand trail India by just 116 runs and will begin Day 5 with the scoreboard reading 101/2. With eight wickets in hand and just two days of action left including the reserve day, many experts believe that a draw or a New Zealand win are the only possible results.
Nasser Hussain: It’s Advantage New Zealand
Nasser Hussain previewed Day 5 of the World Test Championship Final while speaking to the ICC, with the apex body uploading a video of the same on social media.
“I think with Day 4 being called off, it is advantage New Zealand. They are only a hundred and a few behind. If they can make it into a three innings game, bat all of Day 5 and they can make it a three innings game.
“Because then they have a lead and there’s only one winner. I think it is advantage New Zealand, but as I said it is a pitch where you can get rolled on,” Nasser Hussain claimed.
The World Test Championship Final has been predominantly dominated by the bowlers particularly pacers with Kyle Jamieson picking 5 scalps. Overcast conditions and a swinging Dukes’ ball, combined with the stop-start nature of the game, have helped pacers boss the proceedings. Looking ahead to Day 5, Nasser Hussain feels batsmen will once again have their task cut out as they attempt to negotiate the tricky conditions.
“I think the bowlers will continue to dominate. Especially with the whole day being under covers, I can’t suddenly see how it will be a flat belter. I still think it will do a bit because of the cloud cover that has been noticeable in this game,” Nasser Hussain explained.
Nasser Hussain: India Can Also Win If They Bowl New Zealand Out Quickly
Although Nasser Hussain handed the initiative to New Zealand, the 53-year-old refused to rule out an India win. Reminiscing about the recent Lord’s Test where England refused to go for a win on the final day, the former skipper envisaged how a similar scenario could come into play if India manages to bowl New Zealand out quickly.
“Look what happened to India – from three down they collapsed. So if India turn up and bowl New Zealand out for a level peg score in the first innings, then it is going to be in Virat Kohli’s hands. Because he might have to gamble a little bit, set up a game, and set up a declaration.
“Wouldn’t that be great on Day 6, if there’s a bit of a run chase? It is the sort of thing Kane Williamson did to England recently at Lord’s and England didn’t go for it. New Zealand might see it differently,” Nasser Hussain concluded.
Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah bowled 11 overs on Sunday and was wicketless while conceding 34 runs. Ishant Sharma sent down 12 overs and claimed the wicket of Devon Conway (54) towards the end of the day’s play. The third pacer, Mohammed Shami, gave away only 19 runs in 11 overs but failed to pick up a wicket.
The weather for the final two days of the World Test Championship Final seems promising, and some exciting cricket could see a result being conjured up even though a draw seems the most likely result right now.