New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton to win the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor added 96 runs for the third wicket to steer the Black Caps home.
With two entire days washed out, and a reserve day in play, India were asked to bat first in overcast conditions that were not suited for batting. Kyle Jamieson ran down the Indian batting before the Kiwis got a slender first-innings lead.
India responded with a total of 170 in the second innings, but only managed to set the Kiwis 139 in 53 overs. In the final chase, India gave it their all, but it was the grit and experience of the Kiwi veterans that took the Black Caps home.
— ICC (@ICC) June 23, 2021
Let us take a look at who said what at the post-match presentation ceremony of the WTC final:
Tim Southee: Sounds pretty good (tag of World Test Champions). Two years ago started this journey. Lot of hard work goes into it. Pretty special moment. Word coming to mind is consistency – through selection and performances. Never giving up. There’s a lot of heart in this side. Dates back a lot further than the last couple of years. Pretty special feeling. The change room’s a lot calmer knowing we have two experienced guys in the middle. That was the longest 139 runs I’ve experienced. As any international sportsperson, you’re looking to get better, nothing different for me. Great group to be around. We said at the start of this tour to send him off on the right note (Watling). What he’s given to the team – he’s given everything.
Ross Taylor: Still sinking in (the feeling being crowned World Champions), but it’s been a long way. Long journey over a couple of years. Lot of rain for a couple days here, but I thought the way team fought from Day 1 and to be with Kane – who has been a fantastic leader for this team for a long time, to be out there in a pressure situation is something I wouldn’t forget. It would have to be a highlight to say you are a world champions. Start of my career we probably didn’t think we there with this quality, but we built a team and stuck together. This is probably for the fans, stuck with us through thick and thin. Hopefully few Kiwis waking up to be proud of us. It wasn’t easy to start (when he went in to bat today) and Kane kept reiterating that stick in there it will get easier. Classy Indian side, never gave up. They put us under a lot of pressure. I said to Kane I felt like I had to get forward, definitely took off. World class bowler, thanks to my helmet for saving me. Something I won’t forget and nice to carry through to the end. I won’t forget that. 2019 World Cup was something very tough for us, this makes up for that. Will sink in a little bit more with time. Family, friends and all the sacrifices they have made for us, this is also for them.
What a career! An absolute legend of the game.
— ICC (@ICC) June 23, 2021
BJ Watling: It’s been a lot of hardwork for a long time for our team as a group. And to get over the line like that, was pretty satisfying. Some of us were uptop and a few down at the bottom, and it was fantastic that we finished it off with two of out greatest on the pitch on a pitch that was still doing a bit. The WTC is extremely exciting for the game. It puts a big onus on the Test game, and I’m pretty stoked. I’d like to thank my family back home. My mum has been a huge help through tough times. My wife Jess, two boys, Miller and Hudson. It’s been a long time away from home. We’ve had a pretty special group, and I’m extremely happy to end it on a high.
Kyle Jamieson | Man of the Match: It’s a massive moment. To have some context around Test cricket is big and to be standing here now is surreal. I knew we had a big first hour today. We had the ball in the right areas, and we knew it would be a tough task. It’s nice to have the ball first up and play your part. It’s nice to have a chance to do good things for the team. The work that the other bowlers did was really helpful for my figures. Virat is a world-class player, and it was good to have some experience against him at RCB. To pick him up twice in the Test was great.
— ICC (@ICC) June 23, 2021
Virat Kohli | India (losing) captain: First up, a big congratulations to Kane and his team. They’ve shown great consistency and heart, and pull off a result in three days. They put us under pressure throughout the Test and did extremely well to win. It was difficult to get momentum on Day 2, and we did really well with the ball in the first innings. This morning was the difference where their bowlers executed their plans to perfection and didn’t give us scoring opportunities. We were 30-40 short of giving them a good target. I don’t regret announcing my XI beforehand, because you need an all-rounder in the side but we made a unanimous decision that these are the best XI we can take into the park. Jamieson is coming up nicely in international cricket – good areas with the ball, and he can bat quite well too. He’s had a great game and he deserves the man of the match award. It’s great for the game (WTC) and the more Test cricket is given importance, the better it will be for international cricket. It’s a great move by ICC. Test cricket is the heartbeat of the game. It’s a long summer ahead and we are really looking forward to the next series (Tests against England).
Kane Williamson | New Zealand (winning) captain: It’s a special feeling. It’s nice to get one under the belt. I’d like to thank Virat and the Indian team. The heart that our team showed was commendable. It’s the first time we have come away with a world title, and the 22 players who played a big part in getting across the line deserve all the appreciation. This will be remembered for a long time. We don’t always have all the stars, and we saw that in this match. We saw so much heart and commitment. We know how strong the Indian side is, in all conditions. It’s a fickle game, in a one-off final. It ebbed and flowed, no one really had the upper hand for six days, and I’m happy we’re on the right side of it. It was certainly tough going in the first innings. The lower order played with more freedom and got us a lead that gave us an edge. Ross is obviously very experienced and calm in these situations and it was great to be with him right there at the end. BJ Watling – I don’t know if he’s retiring any more actually (jokes). He’s a scrappy player, so this is a fitting end to a fantastic career for BJ Watling.