'Absolute shambles': Fresh outrage over Test cricket 'disgrace'

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Groundstaff, pictured here working on the covers on day four of the ICC World Test Championship final.
Groundstaff work on the covers on day four of the ICC World Test Championship final. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

The farcical scenes in England for the World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand sunk to new lows on Monday when the entire fourth day's play was washed out without a ball being bowled.

Rain washed out a whole day's play for the second time in the Test match, with the showpiece event now all-but destined for an anti-climatic draw.

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Only 141.1 overs have been bowled in the match so far as the inclement weather in Southampton continued to ruin the inaugural edition of Test cricket's pinnacle event.

New Zealand, who will resume on 2-101 if the rain ever stops, will be particularly disappointed having taken the upper hand after their all-seam attack bowled India out for a below-par 217.

Captain Kane Williamson, batting on 12, and Ross Taylor, who is yet to score, would have expected to erase the 116-run deficit and push for a handy first-innings lead.

Rain had also washed out the entire opening day on Friday and interrupted play over the weekend, with bad light also forcing an early stumps on day three.

A reserve day is allocated to make up for lost time, however there is little chance a result will be reached even with that option.

The one-off Test match, worth AU$2.14 million to the winners and $1.07m to the runners-up, represents the culmination of a two-year program of matches to crown a champion team in men's Test cricket.

Ajiknya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, pictured here walking off the field.
Ajiknya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara walk off after inspecting the rain-soaked field. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

India and New Zealand topped the qualifying table, with Australia narrowly missing out on the final in third spot.

The trophy and prize-money will be shared in the result of a draw.

Cricket fans around the world have been left seething over the ICC's decision to play the match in England, given its unreliable weather at this time of year.

Thousands of fans have been flooding social media with comments deriding the fact that the showpiece event has been ruined.

Virat Kohli questions wisdom of one-off Test final

India captain Virat Kohli had already questioned the decision by the ICC to play the final as a one-off Test match.

"If you're talking about Test cricket and deciding who is the best team in the world on one game over a period of five days, that is not the reality of the truth," he said on Thursday.

β€œIt is not going to reflect anything for people who really understand the game and who know exactly what has gone on over the last four or five years and how the teams have fared.

A 'Play Abandoned' sign, pictured here on the fourth day of the World Test Championship final.
Play was abandoned without a ball being bowled on the fourth day of the World Test Championship final. (Photo by Nathan Stirk-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

β€œIf you win this game, cricket does not stop for us. If you lose this game, cricket does not stop for us. Our processes and mindset is what matters most to us.

β€œFor me, this is another Test match that has to be played.”

Kohli did concede the new structure represented a step forward for Test cricket at a time when many fear for its future.

β€œFor me it has been a very positive step in the right direction. You know that every series you are playing and competing for something," he added.

β€œThere is no room for complacency or just playing out an easy draw. If you can go for the points you go for the points. It is a step forward for Test cricket.”

Kyle Jamieson had starred for New Zealand on day three, taking 5-31 as the Kiwis skittled India.

with agencies

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