The final of the World Test Championship is knocking on the door and while the Indian team has just landed in the UK. whereas New Zealand has already arrived in Britain and are playing 2 Test match series before the mighty final of the inaugural World Test Championship. All over the globe, there are talks of NZ being the favourites as they are getting more familiar with English conditions, they are warming up for the WTC-21 Final but the dominant Indian team will get hardly a week for being the friend of English Summer 2021.
Brief about WTC-21 Final:
The final of the WTC final, which will be played from June 18 to June 22 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. India played 6 bilateral series while New Zealand played 5 bilateral series before finalizing their berth in the final of the ICC World Test Championship. As the ICC announced the new tournament in 2019 with the marking scheme of 120 points per series all teams were set to play 6 bilateral series each, the event began with THE ASHES on 1st August 2019. But post that in 2020 the pandemic, known as the Covid-19 pandemic shook the whole globe and many of the bilateral series matches got postponed/cancelled.
And then ICC was forced to change the initial decision of points table rules which automatically turned in favour of BlackCaps. As ICC decided the ranking of the table will be according to Percentage % win. Otherwise, we might have been preparing for India vs England. Perhaps it is INDvsNZ and the UK is all set to host the match.
Who will win THE WTC-21 FINAL ?
India and New Zealand will not get the home advantage during the ICC World Test Championship final as England is a neutral venue. New Zealand is a strong team to defeat whereas India is the likes of that as well. It will be very interesting to see who dominates the opposition. Both captains Kane Williamson (NZ )and Virat Kohli (IND) are very much determined towards the title
Stats that will Matter:-
If we look at the stats between these 2 strongest sides we find that Both the teams have played 59 Test matches so far out of which India have won 21 while New Zealand has won 12. There were 26 Test matches that ended in a draw. Although India has won more matches in the head-to-head encounters, most of India’s victories have come on home soil. India has won 16 matches at home and lost 2. Therefore, there were only 5 matches when India managed to defeat New Zealand on the latter’s home soil.
During the ICC World Test Championship, India faced New Zealand in two Test matches and lost both games by a huge margin. India lost the first match by 10 wickets and 2nd match by 7 wickets. Therefore, New Zealand has a great record against India in Tests so this can work in their favour in the ICC World Test Championship final.
But post that series India have been brilliant with all countries defeating Australia at their home with 2-1 and also beaten England by 3-1 to seal the spot in #WTC final. New Zealand is also in good form. Both teams are getting new and talented heroes for test cricket.
So we can conclude that nothing can be judged with those numbers as they are past and there are no thoughts of those past mathematical numbers in present times.
Teams For WTC-21 Final:-
India: India are a strong team as they are having big names like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Ashwin and many more! Their biggest strength is their young WK batsman Rishabh Pant. From the last couple of months, he has been awesome and his game-changing ability at any moment makes him different. They are also expecting big contributions from Rohit and Virat at such a big stage. If any of them goes big, he can turn the game totally in India’s favour.
Their bowling is up to the mark as we are talking about English conditions. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohd. Shami are their keys to success. Ashwin may be a surprise for the kiwis at the Ageas Bowl. So is Jadeja as his favourite country to play against is NZ . Experience of Ishant Sharma will come in very much use.
Selection of opener with Rohit . 2 options; Mayank and Gill! Though they are continuing with Gill for the last matches it will be a tough call for management and captain to choose one. English conditions ! Strong batting side in opposition, and so is the bowling.
Team India Squad:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul
New Zealand : They have fixed their playing 11 it seems . With the new debutant Devon Conway converting his 100 to the big total is the thing they all will be happy with. And then the likes of KW , Taylor , Nicholls , Watling are the main keys to win. So are the bowlers , Wagner , Southee , Boult and new and long talent Jameison. Looks like a strong 11 to play with.
Jasprit Bumrah might prove to be the biggest challenge for them. Jadeja is also hard against them . Spinner quality does not match Ashwin .
New Zealand Squad For WTC-21 Final:
Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Jacob Duffy, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Tom Latham, BJ Watling, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner (May include more players after some days.)
Playing Conditions for WTC-21 Final:
- Weather may play a part and if it is cold that will favour New Zealand . And if the rain occurs as it is in the UK , ICC have planned a 6th day which will only be used for playing the remaining overs lost in the past 5 days.
- During the month of June, England usually receives heavy rainfall as it marks the start of summer season. So, we might see a lot of stoppage of play during the course of five days and that’s why reserve day would be crucial to get a result.
- ICC have announced that the match will be played with the Dukes ball and not with Kookaburra .
- If we fail to get the result of the match after the whole 450 overs played , then both the teams will be declared as joint winners.
- The Southampton pitch is likely to favour swing bowling in the first two days while it would be perfect for batting on Day 3 and 4. The final day wicket assist spinners and also it seems very tough for batting.
Doing all this analysis one can conclude that whose side is best and more prepared to win . Perhaps It all comes down to who is better prepared and who adapts better to the English conditions the quickest. Many of the cricket analysts and greats are predicting the game to be in New Zealand’s favour by 60-40 ! But let’s see who acquires the mace and becomes the owner of the title “ICC Test Championship 2021 Winner” !
Check the current WTC Ranking