Tim Paine gives bold prediction: The ICC World Test Championship Finals is just three days away from initiation, as two quality teams India and New Zealand battle it out for the crown. Plenty of fans and former cricketers have had their say on the WTC Final, and the favorites heading into it.
However, this time it was the current Australian Test captain Tim Paine who weighed in when asked to give a prediction. The wicket-keeper batsman was clear as day to mention that it’s India who’ll win “comfortably” against the Kiwis.
“My prediction is India will win pretty comfortably if they play anyway near their best,” said Paine.
Paine backing India
One could say that Tim Paine has had first-hand experience, as he’s been on the receiving end of two consecutive home defeats to Team India. What backs Paine’s claim even more is the fact that India missed out on quite a few senior players due to injuries and personal reasons, but still managed to win the Test series 2-1 earlier this year in Australia.
However, the WTC Final is different gravy altogether, as it’s all about hitting the right notes in this one-off game. India are at the top of the World Test Championship rankings, but it’s New Zealand who are now number one in the ICC Test Team Rankings after beating England 1-0. The factors combined make it a perfect recipe for a Blockbuster Finale.
Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed. Shami, Mohammed. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha
New Zealand Squad
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blendle, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young.
The WTC final between India and New Zealand is scheduled to be contested from June 18-22, at the Ageas Bowl Stadium, Southampton. The match starts at 3:00 PM (IST)