World Test Championship: Rain poised to play havoc with Blackcaps v India final

Play seems unlikely to start on time, when the Blackcaps take on India in the World Test Championship final at Southampton on Friday night (NZ time).

"It's looking pretty bad," Newshub European correspondent Lloyd Burr has told The AM Show. "It's raining right now.

"It's been a really nice week actually, with beautiful blue skies, but as soon as we start to build up to the cricket, the havens open and the rains come down.

"At the moment, it is raining and the forecast for tomorrow is pretty rubbish as well - about 70-90 percent chance of rain for most of the day - so there won't be any cricket tomorrow, if the forecasters have got it right.

"Saturday looks a little bit better, but tit's still looking cloudy and overcast, with lots of patches of rain. Sunday is probably the day they can start playing, with a few clouds in the sky."

Match rules have been tweaked to allow play into a sixth day, if weather or bad light affects the regulation five, but Blackcaps coach Gary Stead seems unfazed by the forecast.

"We're ready to go," he tells The AM Show. "It could be a six-day test at this stage.

"The forecast has certainly changed from the start of the week, when there was a lot of rain the whole time, but it's certainly looking better.

"Tomorrow probably looks the dodgiest of them all, but we're hopeful we'll get some play in later tomorrow."

New Zealand and India have history at playing rain-affected matches on the highest stage. Two years ago, the Blackcaps needed two days to dispatch their rivals at Manchester's Old Trafford during the Cricket World Cup, played in the 50-over one-day format.

Stead insists his team will take a positive attitude into the showdown and won't hesitate to take risks for victory, especially if time becomes a factor. Unlike the World Cup, where New Zealand 'lost' the final through a boundary countback, a draw or tie here would see the title shared.

"Our view, when we start a test match, is we're always trying to win that test match," he says. "You have the ebbs and flows of the match, and you get into a position of strength and positions of weakness as well, but our view is we always try to play a brand of cricket that is about winning.

"I'm sure this will be now different. Once we get into the game and into a situation, we'll work out how we need to play it, but we're certainly not scared of losing a game to win it."

Join us at 9pm Friday for live updates of the World Test Championship final between the Blackcaps and India