India vs New Zealand, WTC Final, Southampton weather today: Forecast good for first-half on Day 2 at Rose Bowl
After a dampener of a first day, in which persistent rain made sure that there was no room for even the toss to take place – let alone any match – the weather forecast for Day 2 in Southampton for the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand looks a lot better. Yes, you heard it right. After rain lashed the city for entirely on Friday, Saturday looks a lot sunnier with partial sunshine on the horizon.
The loss of play Day 1 means that there would be a half-an-hour early start on each of the remaining four days. As per the current weather update and scenario, the morning session should remain clear, which means that the toss is likely to go ahead. Like we mentioned, the forecast is for Saturday is good, for the first half of the day, which means there are 30 percent chances of rain in the afternoon session, followed by a bit more in the evening.
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Rest assured; the match will head into the sixth day – which as we have fondly started to call it – the reserve day, for eight hours of play has been already lost to rain on Day 1 and even in the situation of rain no longer playing spoilsport anymore – which would be an audacious prediction – starting half an hour early on each of the four days would only add up to two hours. There would still be another six hours' worth of play left to make up for.
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Weather forecast aside, this is the biggest question on everyone's mind – Can or will India change their Playing XI now that so much of rain has fallen over in Southampton, the pitch would have more moisture. Besides, with overcast conditions and a bit of grass, the captain winning the toss is likely to take advantage of the conditions and bowl first.
With India picking three pacers and two spinners as announced on the eve of the match, India definitely can change their XI? But would they do it is a different question altogether. The legendary Sunil Gavaskar believes given the weather conditions in Southampton, India can do with making once change, brining in Hanuma Vihari to add a bit of depth in the batting and going ahead with one spinner in R Ashwin.
India's fielding coach R Sridhar, on the other hand, believes that the XI that was announced by India was done keeping in mind that they are well equipped with playing in any conditions, which suggests that India may after all, stick to their original 11 players.