By: Chinmay Vaidya
It took six years and several heart-breaking moments, but New Zealand is finally a cricket champion. The Blackcaps defeated India in the World Test Championship final by eight wickets, with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor fittingly taking the team home. Weather and bad light threatened chances for a result, but the reserve day was clear and allowed for New Zealand to get a win.
New Zealand's dominant pace bowling attack was on point in this game. Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner accounted for every Indian wicket in both innings, with Jamieson taking a five-wicket haul in the first innings. It was his fifth five-wicket haul in eight career Test matches. Southee added 30 crucial runs with the bat, while Boult and Wagner took big wickets on Day 6 to set up a manageable chase.
The victory means New Zealand's "golden generation" finally has a championship under its belt after falling short on several occasions. The Blackcaps started to rise in 2015 with the World Cup, where Brendan McCullum and Grant Elliott took the team to its first ever final. New Zealand made a semifinal exit in the 2016 T20 World Cup after looking like the best team in the tournament, but the biggest sting was the 2019 World Cup final. New Zealand and England actually tied in the match, but a boundary count tiebreaker gave the hosts a win. New Zealand had several chances to win that match and many players will remember that day forever. This win, however, helps ease the pain of that defeat.
Taylor, Southee, Wagner and BJ Watling will have a championship to their name after setting the foundation for the Test team for years. Williamson completes what McCullum started by adding a trophy to the cabinet, though he and the group will want more in the coming years. Henry Nicholls, Trent Boult and Tom Latham have also been key contributors throughout the years for the New Zealand side. And then there's newcomers like Jamieson and Devon Conway, who ultimately proved to be vital integrations to the side.
From here, there will be two T20 World Cups and a one-day World Cup to pursue. The monkey is finally off New Zealand's back. The Blackcaps are world champions.