We are very close to witnessing the first World Test Championship (WTC) final between the two finalists, i.e. India and New Zealand. After a difficult road to the final match, both teams have been at their best and would hope that they can win the finals. However, it isn’t going to be easy for both the teams as the final is all set to take place in a neutral ground. It was initially set to take place in Lord’s, but will now take place in Southamton. Southampton hasn’t really been a batting paradise. Teams have often found it hard to bat well over there and even a 300 would look like a very good total at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. Indian players haven’t really been able to play in Southamton too often. As a matter of fact, only 5-6 of the current Indian batsman have got a chance to play at the Southampton. Ahead of the WTC Final 2021, we shall be taking a look at the Indian batsman’s performances at the Southapmton.
India have played only three Tests in Southamton in the previous decade. The first was in 2011, second in 2014 and the third and final one took place in 2018. None of the current batsman were there in 2011 and thus, they have only played over there in 2014 and 2018. In 2014, the batsman from the current slot who were there back then were Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja back then was just a bowler who could bat a bit and hence, didn’t have any noteworthy performances with the bat in that Test. Pujara scored 26 runs in the 2 innings and Southampton and wasn’t at his best to say the least. Kohli was having a torrid time back then. However, he did get starts in this Test match and scored a 39 and 28. Rohit Sharma was a middle order batsman in Test cricket back then and scored 34 runs in the two innings. Ajinkya Rahane was by far the best player in that match. He scored 2 fifties in the 2 innings and ended up scoring 106 runs in the Southampton Test. The next time India played a Test match at Southampton was in 2018. India’s Test team back then consisted of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. Pujara was absolutely magnificent and scored a sensational 100 in India’s first innings. He took his team to a lead despite there being a collapse. He then went on to score a single digit score (5) in the second innings. Kohli again got starts in both the innings and scored 46 and 58 respectively.
Rahane scored 11 in the first innings and then went on to score a half century in the second innings. He scored an amazing 51, but that wasn’t enough as England managed to win that match. KL Rahul wasn’t at his best and scored 19 in the first innings and a duck in the first. So to conclude, Rahane and Kohli have a good record in Southampton. Rahane has scored 168 runs in Southampton at an average of 42. Kohli has an average of 42 as well. Although Pujara did score a 100, he was disappointing outside of that one knock. Pant scored 12 runs in the one Test he played at Southampton. However, he was playing his debut series back then. He is now a much better player and would be rearing to go.