Fans were glued to their screens, cheering for their favourite team to get a decent headstart in Southampton albeit with the fickle weather conditions in England. India and New Zealand were all set to give in their all in a bid to add their name into history books before rain played spoilsport on Day 1 of the title clash at the Ageas Bowl.
A two-year wait to witness two potent sides contesting for Test supremacy resulted in a day filled with frustration and suspense. On expected lines, the downpour started Thursday night and continued till afternoon, leaving the outfield with puddles and millions of fans in dismay.
WTC Final | Fans blast ICC after rain washes first session of India-New Zealand clash in Southampton
Due to incessant rain, the opening day's play was finally called off after multiple inspections, bringing the reserve day into the equation.
Following a complete washout of Day 1 of the titular five-day Test, fans are looking forward to seeing a reserve day or sixth day on June 23rd (Wednesday). Interestingly, reserve day also came into the picture the last time India and New Zealand crossed swords in an ICC event. The 2019 World Cup semi-final turned into a two-day affair after heavens opened at Old Trafford.
Fans are most likely to witness a similar situation. With six hours of play lost on Day 1 itself, the final will go the distance and reserve day would make up for the lost time.
The reserve day officially came into effect half an hour into the second session (6:40 pm IST). Hence, two and half hours of play will be covered up within the next five days by 30 minutes of an early start on each day. It will now be 98 overs per day and whatever overs were lost during the first five days will be bowled on the reserve day.
“Weather interruptions that forced washouts on the first and fourth days of the ICC World Test Championship Final mean the match is heading into the designated Reserve Day,” an ICC statement said.
"The Reserve Day is in place to make up for any lost time in the original five days of the match. A maximum of 98 overs – 83 overs plus the last hour (a minimum of 15 overs) – are available. The umpires will signal the start of the last hour."
India and New Zealand will be declared joint winners of the WTC if their clash in Southampton ends in a draw/tie.
“The maximum duration for the Reserve Day is a minimum of 330 minutes (or 83 overs, whichever is later), plus the last hour," the ICC statement further said.