England and India docked two WTC points apiece for slow over rate

Mohammed Siraj bowls
August 11, 2021

England and India have been fined two World Test Championship points each for their slow over-rates during the first Test in Nottingham, which ended as a rain-affected draw on Sunday. Both teams were also fined 40% of their match fee by match referee Chris Broad.

The teams now take two points each out of the Test match, instead of the four they would normally get for a draw under the new points system for the 2021-23 WTC cycle.

"As a team we were not pleased we lost two points because of factors that were definitely in our control," India captain Virat Kohli said on Wednesday. "We were short by two overs, but we made up quite a few overs in that second innings. we basically have to keep up to speed with the pace of the game - small little things where we can save 10-15 seconds, that really matters, we practised that in the second innings and we were able to cover up three to four overs. You don't want to be that far behind in the game that you are not able then to not to catch up and cover your overs in time, as the points are very, very crucial."

A major factor behind the slow over rates was both teams opting for pace-heavy attacks owing to the seam-and-swing-friendly pitch and overhead conditions at Trent Bridge. England picked four fast bowlers and no spinners, and India four fast bowlers and one spinner, Ravindra Jadeja. In the end, the quicks sent down all but 16 of the 250.2 overs bowled during the Test match.

The match was also beset by frequent rain interruptions, while the completion of overs was also delayed by batters not being ready to face. As light worsened on the second afternoon, KL Rahul took his time to get into his position against James Anderson. England's batters, meanwhile, also made Mohammed Siraj wait on more than one occasion.

Over-rate-related points deductions could prove costly to teams during the WTC. In the inaugural 2019-21 cycle, Australia were docked four points for their slow over rate during the 2020 Boxing Day Test against India in Melbourne. It ultimately cost them a place in the final, which instead went to eventual champions New Zealand.

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