WTC Final: As the ultimate battle of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final comes closer, the excitement seems to be reaching the heights amongst the fans as well as in the India and New Zealand camps. Both the teams are all set to be part of a historic moment in the cricketing history as one of them will soon be crowned as the champions of the first-ever WTC title in Southampton. However, the hard-fought preparations have begun and the cricket pundits have also started with their analysis of both India and New Zealand players.
1. Virat Kohli vs Tim Southee
This is a pure high-voltage battle between India captain and best batsman Virat Kohli and New Zealand’s pace spearhead Tim Southee. All eyes will be on Kohli at the WTC final as the Indian fans will want to see him finally ending long century drought while Southee who is one of the most underrated bowlers has had the upper hand over the Indian captain in the longest format of the game. In a really surprising stat, Tim Southee has actually dismissed a total of 10 times in international cricket across the three formats.
Although, Kohli has scored a total of 877 runs in 14 Tests of the WTC cycle 2019-21 but the right-handed Indian batsman has had his fair share of troubles in the past while countering the swing and seam movement especially in the English conditions and Southee is a master moving the ball both ways. If India are to win the WTC final, Virat Kohli will have to contribute with a big innings while Southee will be aiming to pick up the prized scalp of the Indian captain as early as possible in the summit clash.
Virat Kohli vs Tim Southee in Tests
2. Ajinkya Rahane vs Trent Boult
India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is the leading run-getter for his side in the World Test Championship cycle 2019-2021 with a fabulous tally of 1095 runs in 17 matches at an average of 43.80. He scored a stunning century under-pressure to help India register a famous win in the Melbourne Test match and was also the leader of the pack during the historic 2-1 series win Down Under. However, Rahane has suffered quite a few consistency issues in the recent while and in the IND vs NZ WTC Final, he will be up against a stern challenge in the form of New Zealand left-arm pacer Trent Boult.
Boult has had the upper hand against Rahane in Test cricket having dismissed the Indian vice-captain thrice. In the current India batting line-up, Ajinkya Rahane is a vital clog and a lot will depend how he neutralizes the New Zealand bowling attack in the WTC final.
Ajinkya Rahane vs Trent Boult in Tests
3. Kane Williamson vs Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is definitely the back-bone of his team’s batting line-up across formats especially in Test cricket because of his patience and disciplined technique. With a superb total of 817 runs at an average of 58.35 in this WTC cycle, Williamson is also currently the No.1 ranked ICC Test batsman. However, India’s premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah did trouble the New Zealand captain during the Test series in 2020.
With a total of 83 wickets in just 19 Tests at an average of 22.11, Bumrah will be one of India’s key players in the upcoming World Test Championship final against New Zealand. On the other hand, if New Zealand have to win their first ICC title since 2000, captain Kane Williamson will have to lead from the front and score big against the lethal India bowling attack that will be dangerous in the English conditions.
Kane Williamson vs Jasprit Bumrah in Tests
India will be playing New Zealand in the World Test Championship final from 18-22 June at The Rose Bowl in Southampton. The IND vs NZ WTC Final live score and streaming will be available on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar app. The first ball of the WTC Final will be bowled at 3:30 PM IST.
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