New Zealand team is better placed in this WTC final against India. They recently played a series against England before the big final. They manage to hand over the defeat to the host. But if we talk about Southampton, India have played two test matches at this venue where as New Zealand team is yet to play at the Ageas bowl.
The first edition of the World Test Championship final will begin on 18th June in Southampton at Rose bowl where top 2 test teams, India and New Zealand will lock horns against each other to become the inaugural World Test Champion.
Earlier the idea was to organize this tournament in 2013 but due to some reasons it was started in 2019 as the two year tournament.
Road to the finals
At the start of this year, Australia , England , New Zealand and India were in the contentions to appear in the finals. Australia’s hopes were dashed when India defeated them by 2-1 in their own backyard.
Despite out playing the Australians in Australia India’s seat in the final was not yet confirmed. Australia as loss became a blessing for the New Zealand team as they booked their seat in the inaugural WTC final by defeating West Indies and Pakistan by 2-0 each.
It was all down to England series. Indian team defeated the Mighty English men by 3-1 to go to the the finals of the World Test Championship. They eliminated England and Australia from the contentions. Kohli and company will face Williamson’s army on June 18. New Zealand are placed right at the top of the rankings followed by the Indian team.
History of the Ageas Bowl
The Rose Bowl Stadium has hosted 6 test matches till date. Three matches were organised in summer in 2020 when West Indies and Pakistan team were isolated in Southampton. India have played two test matches, one in 2014 and the other one in 2018 but lost both the games. New Zealand team has never played a test match at the Rose bowl stadium.
No visiting team has ever won a test match in Southampton except the Wes Indies. Teams have managed to score more than 500 runs only on two occasions. There have been three drawn games at this venue. According to the sources, the pitch will surely help the quicker bowlers. It will have pace and bounce. It will help spinners too in the later half of the match if the conditions remain dry.
Who is having a better edge on the WTC final?
New Zealand team have recently concluded their series against England at Edgbaston. The clinch the series by 1-0. They almost won the first game but rain played a spoil sports. Southee took a 6 wicket haul. In the second game , the defeated the home team by 8 wickets.
The Kiwis are more excited Devon Conway made a statement at the top of the order by scoring a double ton in his debut match in Lord’s. There are some concerns in the kiwi camp as both Santner and skipper Kane Williamson were not fit for the second test. The team management is not sure whether they’ll the part of the final or not.
New Zealand rotated their bowlers like Tim Southee , Jamieson and Boult in order to keep them fresh for the historic clash. The veteran BJ Watling is also been monitored by the team ahead of the WTC final against the dominant Indian side.
On the other side, the Indian team has reached Southampton last week and was been quarantined. They have started their practice in Southampton after strict Quarantine period. Now they are playing a intra- squad match.
India will dominate throughout this world test championship and had defeated teams in their own backyard but winning the WC final will be a much different challenge. India and New Zealand will start their proceedings on 18th June on even note at Ageas Bowl. Virat Kohli stated that Indian team has done well in the past without the proper practice sessions. They have adopted the conditions very well and played accordingly.
Talking at the bowling’s prospective, all the Indian bowlers expect Siraj have played a match in Southampton. Indian bowling spearhead Md. Shami is the only Indian bowler to play two test matches at Southampton.
The World Test Championship is in its initial stages and have received combination of reactions from current and the retired cricketers. But the International Cricket Council has said that they will continue to conduct this tournament . The match-ups the game have been perfectly placed and this will be the historic match in the history of the oldest format.
Both teams have played 59 test against each other. Indian team has won 21 matches while kiwis managed to win 12 games. 26 matches have ended in a draw. In the last series New Zealand defeated India by 2-0.
Indian team has just lost one game in the last 7 games ,this lost against England at Chennai this year.
The Kiwi team is undefeated in the last 8 test matches. Last time they made a record of nine consecutive games without a loss.
Since the beginning of the world test Championship India(50.2) and New Zealand(52.4) ,the top two teams who have the best bowling strike rate.
The Kiwi team has the best catches success rate(80%) in the entire world followed by Australia. Indian team success rate is 76%.
Our predictions for WTC final XIs
Rohit Sharma, Gill, Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Rahane(vc), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravi Ashwin, R Jadeja, Shami, Bumrah, Ishant
Team New Zealand
Devon Conway, Tom Latham(vc), Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, A Patel, Southee, Boult, Wagner
Also Read : Top 5 India vs New Zealand clashes in ICC events