Tom Latham, vice-captain said on Friday (June 18) that New Zealand has a few contingency plans but the abandonment of the opening day of the World Test Championship final against India due to rain is unlikely to make a huge amount of difference to their team selection.
The much-anticipated opening day of the match was called off without even the toss being held here on Friday, which is set to bring the reserve day into the equation.
Tom Latham: Rain Doesn’t Change Huge Amount Of Selection Of Playing XI
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first against India on Day 2 of the final of the inaugural WTC in Southampton. New Zealand has gone with four specialist fast bowlers and another seam-bowling option in all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme. India, on the other hand, has stuck with their playing XI which was announced on Thursday. The first day was washed out due to rain and bad weather.
“Probably, doesn’t change huge amount (selection of playing XI),” Tom Latham said during a virtual press conference when asked if losing the first day will change their approach to team selection.
“Obviously with an extra day we have got up our sleeves, the game can still go on for full five days. I guess, for us, it is about the wait and see and adapt to whatever conditions we face and ready to go when called upon.
“We haven’t confirmed the final XI yet, we have to wait and see when we get the chance to look at the wicket. I am sure Kane (Williamson) and (Gary) Stead have a few contingencies planned. We have to wait for the covers to come off and get a chance to play,” Tom Latham said.
While New Zealand is yet to announce their playing XI, India had named the team for the WTC final on Thursday.
“Obviously both teams can make changes before the toss, so both are in the same position. India have named their XI, obviously, that can change before the toss, so we have to wait and see once we get to that stage of the game,” Tom Latham said.
New Zealand has gone for four frontline seamers and no spinner. New Zealand won the toss and opted to field first.
Tom Latham: It’s Disappointing The Rain Was Unfortunately Forecast
There was a forecast of rain and thundershowers and heavens opened up last evening with relentless downpour continuing till afternoon. As per ICC playing conditions guidelines for the WTC final, if required the reserve sixth day can now come into effect with six hours of play lost on Day 1 itself.
Tom Latham said his team is not looking too far ahead.
“It is hard to predict the game this far out, when you start on day 1, you obviously want to start well and result flow on from the first and second innings,” he said.
“From our point of view, it is about when we get a chance to go out there and execute our plans best as possible and to be in a position to push the game forward.But yeah, it is hard to say what a perfect scenario may look like, until both the teams have batted on the surface.”
India is currently on 62/1 with opener Rohit Sharma dismissed on 34 while Shubman Gill is unbeaten on 27. Kyle Jamieson has picked up the only wicket to fall.