Let’s assume we start on time. Or better still, that somehow we get 98 overs in both today and tomorrow, with extra time and all the rest. That’s 196 overs to find a way to the finish line, which is not inconsiderable in conditions are giving plenty to the bowlers, on a pitch that’s been under covers for the better part of of 36 overs.
If New Zealand go at about three an over, they’ll crack parity just after lunch. For the sake of our sketch, let’s have them bowled out at that point too. Buoyed by their comeback with the ball, India crack on a fraction quicker again, reaching 200/5 by stumps tonight.
New Zealand come out steaming tomorrow morning, claiming 5/50 in a gripping first 90 minutes of play. They’re left 250 to win in 70 overs. They go for it. Consistent wickets fall but they aren’t going to give up the chase. A Colin de Grandhomme run-a-ball 50, alongside the bowlers, gets them to the brink. Two overs to go, 13 needed.
Southee and Bould are the New Zealanders, the two of them with more sixes than any No10 or No11 to play in the history of Test cricket. Southee can’t make contact until the final delivery of the penultimate over – it’s out of the Rose Bowl! Seven to win, Bumrah v Boult. It’s an interpretative dance, backing away, every ball swinging and missing, somehow each missing the woodwork.
It’s the second last ball of the World Test Championship Final and BOOM, he CLOUTS it over cow corner! Six! Scores level! The weight of the world on Bumrah’s shoulders, charging in from the Hotel End. He delivers, full, reverse swing, Boult falls over, he’s bowled! It’s a tie! The third tie in the history of Test cricket! A staggering climax. Kohli and Williamson will hold the mace aloft together.
Or, we’re off for bad light at 5pm later today and it rains tomorrow. Kohli and Williamson still hold the mace aloft together. Either way, stick with me to see if the reality can match fiction. G’morning.