In the build-up to the World Test Championship’s grand finale, ICC has announced that India and New Zealand will be crowned co-champions in case of a tie or draw. Hard-fought 5-day draws are a very common result in a competitive test match between two high-quality sides. This decision was made to avoid confusion and chaos like the 2019 World Cup final, where NZ and ENG tied twice (once in the main game and then the super over).
A reserve day was also has been kept in case there is a loss of time during the allotted 5 days. This could be effective in case of time lost due to rain or similar factors. Even then, the reserve day won’t be used if using traditional methods of making up for time work. These conventional methods include early start and over added to finish late if time allows.
However, this reserve day won’t be used if the time is made up and the match still ends up in a draw. Sometimes batting time and getting through the day for a draw is what defines the character of excellent test match cricket. Giving the bowling team another day to bowl the opposition out would not have been fair, which is why this rule is a good move by ICC. The match referee will be providing updates on lost time to both captains.
The WTC finals will also bring into play the new changes in cricket laws for the first time. These new laws include the close real-time monitoring of short runs by umpires and the new increased height for an LBW zone. The first rule is a little straightforward, but to better understand the second one, you must know that the wicket zone’s height was taken from the center of the bails instead of the top of the bails. This resulted in a lot of haphazard umpire’s call decisions that could have gone either way. With the new rule, the DRS will be much more accurate, fair, and effective.
Another new rule which will come into play from the WTC final is the ability of the fielding team or the batsman in question to ask the umpire whether, according to them, a shot was offered. This rule comes in handy when LBW decisions are given in which the ball is pitching outside the line of the leg stump. Initially, if a shot isn’t offered, it doesn’t matter where the ball pitches. But whether a shot is offered or not can be confusing, and it is the umpire who decides that.
In other news, the Indian team is yet to receive a flight schedule on arriving in the UK. All players of both contingents (men and women) have been vaccinated and are ready to go waiting in Mumbai. Yet, the BCCI is awaiting confirmation from ICC on when to leave. BCCI is also awaiting confirmation from the UK government to allow the family members of the men’s team to travel with them to England. Apart from a few members on the squad, almost every member is traveling with their families.