Southampton, June 23 (IANS) Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar expects an exciting finish to the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand on the reserve day on Wednesday but is sceptical about the bowlers being able to bundle out the opposition with just one full day of play remaining.
Persistent rain and bad light have forced the match into the reserve day with India going to stumps on Day 5 at 64/2 on Tuesday with a lead of 32 runs.
Openers Shubman Gill (8) and Rohit Sharma (30) were both dismissed by New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee. Skipper Virat Kohli (8) and Cheteshwar Pujara (12) were unbeaten at the draw of stumps.
The weather department has predicted a bright and sunny day, which might be conducive for batting.
“India will be looking to score freely and put some runs on the board and maybe try to bowl New Zealand out in the fourth innings. An exciting finish for the first-ever WTC final,” Gavaskar told India Today.
“They (India) have earned the opportunity (an outside chance to go for win) but now the pitch seems to be playing a lot better because of the weather that is different, there is a little bit of sun out now. It has dried up the surface,” said Gavaskar.
The cricketer-turned-commentator felt that even with a bit of grass on the pitch, batting would be much easier on the reserve day compared to when the Test had started.
“Even if there is a little bit of grass on the pitch, it won’t have that much carry that was there in the earlier days. So that means batting has become a lot easier. India will probably not be able to bowl New Zealand out in the second innings. They have to bowl exceptionally well to get New Zealand out,” Gavaskar said.