The count down for the much-awaited World Test Championship final has almost begun. In three weeks, Kane Williamson’s spirited New Zealand side will take on the Virat Kohli led dominant Indian side in the epic clash on June 18th at Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Both teams’ journey into the finals was backed by strong bowling units. The Kiwi pace bowling quartet and the Indian pace bowling trio along with the world class spinning duo of Ashwin and Jadeja were a notch apart from the rest of the bowling line-ups in the competition. Keeping all these in mind, the New Zealand opener Henry Nichols named two Indian bowlers to be wary of ahead of this final clash.
Indian pace bowling unit has found a resurgence under the leadership of Virat Kohli. The pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Ishant Sharma were the prime reasons for India’s success overseas in the past couple of years. Even the sight of their run-up used to bring nightmares to the opposition teams. The Kiwis are aware of this fact and the New Zealand opener Henry Nicholls in his recent interview opined that India’s pace trio is similar to that of their and they are up for the challenge.
“Mohammed Shami along with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma have proven their quality over the years which is similar to our seamers (Tren Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner) on whom we really pride ourselves on.
“So, if you are facing that kind of a line-up, it’s an exciting challenge and as a group we are expecting it to be tough but also looking forward to the challenge,” said Henry Nicholls.
As per Henry Nicholls, even though India’s pace trio is of International standards, more than these three, it is the spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja that the Kiwi’s need to be wary of ahead of this final clash. He believes that these two world class spinners can dominate the Kiwis even in England if they get a favourable condition to exploit on.
To prepare against the spin of Ashwin and Jadeja in a spin friendly Ageas Bowl, the Kiwis are using a strategy of pouring dry kitty litter on the track to create rough. This technique was put forward by fellow batsman Devon Conway.
“That was something that we experimented in the camp before we came over to UK. You managed to get some more turn and get some practice. So, playing at a neutral venue, we need to check what the wickets will be like there. Also, the guile of Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja is something that we need to be prepared for,” Nicholls said.
Both these players were dominant in the entire World Test Championship. Ashwin has a tally of 67 wickets from 24 innings and Jadeja has a tally of 28 wickets from 19 innings in the World Test Championship so far.
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