India’s Ashwin Ravichandran said he would happily play on until there was a winner in the ICC World Test Championship final, a match where two entire days’ play have been washed out without a ball bowled.
The weather, allied to resolute, if unspectacular, batting in conditions that have favoured pace bowlers throughout, would normally have meant this match ending in a draw given a standard men’s Test lasts a maximum of five days.
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But with this showpiece fixture the culmination of two years’ worth of series, the ICC included a special provision for a reserve day in the hope of giving the game every chance to crown Test cricket’s first official world champions.
With a maximum of 98 overs to play on Wednesday, the odds remain in favour of a draw.
India will resume on 64/2 in their second innings – a lead of 32 runs – after Tim Southee removed openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma late on Tuesday to finish with stumps figures of 2/17 in nine overs.
Star batsman Kohli is eight not out, with Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on 12.
New Zealand themselves led by 32 on first innings after making 249 in reply to India’s 217, with captain Kane Williamson contributing a painstaking 49 on Tuesday.
“There is a prize up for grabs, but nobody can control the weather,” Ashwin told BBC Radio’s Test Match Special.
“It would be nice if the game kept extending and we played to a finish but I don’t think there is scope for that,” added the off-spinner, who took 2/28 in 15 economical overs.
“The game is pretty well poised but with some more time it would be better. If we can get the runs going we’re set up for a good finish.”
The last ‘timeless’ match in international cricket was the fifth Test between South Africa and England at Durban in March 1939.
After nine days of play spread over 12 days, the concluding match of the series was eventually abandoned as a draw so England could avoid missing their boat home.