Cricket’s purest format will be back and will regain all its enthusiasm as India and New Zealand are set to meet at Southampton on the 18th of June for the World Test Championship final.
With now just less than a month left, a mouth-watering clash is awaiting in the final as both teams are quite strong along with having some star-studded players in their line-up.
No one would have given a chance to NZ for entering the finals but they still have managed to enter it.
The last time India and New Zealand met each other in the ICC knockout game was in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, where the blackcaps knocked out blues in a nail-biting contest.
India has dominated in head to head rivalry between these two teams in the longer format but when these two teams last met each other, New Zealand pummeled India by whitewashing them at home.
Before the WTC final, New Zealand is scheduled to play 2 tests, against England so that they can get used to the English conditions and might have little advantage of that as compared to India.
5 New Zealand cricketers who can be a threat for team India in the upcoming World Test Championship final
1. Trent Boult
Kiwi left-arm pacer Trent Boult has been one of the prominent reasons for the success of New Zealand in the last few years.
Arguably the best left-arm pacer in the world right now and is one of the smartest cricketers on the field. He can swing the ball both ways, can use the round wicket angle to cramp the batsman and has a good bouncer too.
Moreover, Boult is a gun fielder and has grabbed many stunners before. Indian top-order has struggled plenty of times in the past against left-arm seamers, mainly in knockout stages.
Boult has also gone past the Indian top-order numerous times and was one of the major reasons why India got defeated in the World cup 2019 semi-final.
And with the new dukes’ ball in hand, and conditions also being favourable for swing bowling in England, Boult can prove fatal for India.
Indian batting has to find a way of tackling Boult because if once he gets going it will be tough to stop him.
2. Kane Williamson
Blackcaps skipper and their most prolific batsman in the current era, Kane Williamson is undoubtedly the backbone of New Zealand.
Batting in the top order has never been easy for any batsman, especially against the new ball but Williamson plays late with soft hands and has full ability to see off the new ball with his technique and gritty temperament.
In the past few years, it has always been quite a sight to watch Williamson bat. In the recent New Zealand’s home season it was almost next to impossible to stop Williamson, who scored 639 runs in merely 4 innings with a whopping average of 159.75 comprising 2 double centuries and a century.
Cool and composed Williamson knows exceptionally well how to manage his troops, is aware of making the right bowling changes.
Williamson will try his level best, of winning the ICC trophy for New Zealand, which they are longing for many years. The face-off between the Indian pace trio versus Williamson will be very intriguing to watch in the final.
The Indian bowling department will have to dismiss him quickly because he can bat and bat for a long and making daddy hundreds.
Kiwi bowler Tim Southee has been the most essential performer for New Zealand in this World Test championship cycle.
A perfect outswinger delivery is the first thing that comes to our mind when we think of Southee.
Bowling in tandem with Trent Boult, the duo has rattled many batting lineups. With 51 scalps to his name, he is the 5th highest wicket-taker in this cycle. However, he doesn’t have the raw pace but has the good amount of experience which he could use in the finale.
Southee was named the player of the series for taking 14 wickets in the four innings against India in 2020. He can bowl long spells with ease, move the ball both ways and under the favourable conditions in England, his height will grow.
Southee is also a brilliant fielder and has grabbed many good catches in the slip cordon. One thing we all have observed is that the Indian batting struggle has been more against swing bowlers than seam bowlers and Southee is exactly the kind of bowler that can get rid of Indian batting.
4. Kyle Jamieson
Young, tall and a new prodigy in the International circuit, Kyle Jamieson is one of the most exciting talents.
In his short test career, he has impressed many with his performances with both bat and ball. His specialties with the ball in hand are that he gets the promising seam movement and steep bounce due to his height.
Batsmen haven’t been able to figure out Jamieson’s bowling yet. He has taken 36 scalps in just 6 tests with a remarkable average of 13.28.
Not just with a ball, Jamieson has established himself with the bat too. With those long-livers, he can hit a very long ball and has a good defence too.
Indian bowling has been found wanting against the tail-enders in the recent past, and at the end of the IND vs NZ test series last year, Jamieson’s runs made all the difference between the two teams.
So in many ways, he can be proved as an X factor for Kiwis and a threat for Blues.
Blackcaps veteran Ross Taylor has been one of the finest batsmen New Zealand has ever produced. His name has never come in limelight and has been quite underrated but his numbers speak for himself.
A fine player of both pace and spin, Taylor coming at no. 4 has scored runs in abundance. Kiwi stalwart has many shots in his armoury but slog sweep and square-cut are the ones he never fails to nail.
When on the song, Taylor with the fine stroke play and an aggressive style of batting can unsettle the best of attacks in the world.
However, his recent form hasn’t been at his best and his body fought with injuries also but having played more than 100 tests, he has the rich experience and temperament to play on the big stage.
India’s test season will be back with the World Test Championship finals against New Zealand starting from 18th June at Southampton (earlier it was scheduled at Lords).
In the recent past, both India & New Zealand have choked in the knockouts of the ICC tournaments but this team either one of them will break this streak.
In fact, they both can if it will be a tie or draw 😀 but it is very unlikely in the English conditions.
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– Article by Mridul Batra