For the second time in a row, the Indian team has advanced to the World Test Championship final. New Zealand's exciting victory against Sri Lanka in the opening match provided India a place in the WTC 2023 final.
India needed to defeat Australia in the four-match Test series by a score of either 3-0 or 3-1 in order to advance. While Sri Lanka needed to defeat New Zealand in the Test series by a score of 2-0 in order to advance to the WTC Final.
Any other outcome of the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka would have met India's qualification requirements.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka gave it their all up until the game's penultimate ball, but Kane Williamson finished the job by scoring 121* to bring his team home (194).
When Sri Lanka had to defend it in order to force a draw, New Zealand needed one run to win off the deciding delivery.
Williamson, though, saved himself from the run-out to win the game by crossing the line only a split second before the bails were displaced.
Thus, the Men in Blues will now face their arch-rivals Australia in the WTC Final at The Oval on June 7.
Currently, India and Australia are playing their 4th Test in Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium. This is the only match of the series which has lasted till the 5th day of the Test, the other 3 fixtures finished on the 3rd day itself.
However, India won't be concerned about the outcome at this point now as irrespective of the result India have qualified. While most probably the final Test of the 4-match Test series will end up in a draw ensuring India winning the series by 2-1.
The Rohit Sharma-led side has been on the cusp of qualifying ever since December 2022, when their red-ball campaign was resumed. Nonetheless, India advances to the WTC Final thanks to their outstanding performances in the first two Test matches against Australia and New Zealand's thrilling victory.
The summit match between Australia and India will take place at The Oval on June 7. The last time India faced New Zealand in the WTC final, the team led by Virat Kohli was unable to win the trophy. It will be intriguing to see which team takes home the championship trophy with the collision of two arch-rivals.
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