- India has a very well-balanced team with a strong batting lineup and exceptional fast-bowling resources
- New Zealand has just won a series in England against England and will be full of confidence
- India has an X-factor that New Zealand just does not and we believe it will be able to perform better under pressure
IND VS NZ MATCH & ANALYSIS
The inaugural final of the World Test Championship is going to be played between India and New Zealand. These two have been the best Test teams for quite some time and deserve their place in the final for sure. From the outside, it may seem like things are loaded in favor of New Zealand.
Not only is the match being played in the seam-friendly conditions of England but New Zealand would have also completed two test matches just prior to the WTC Final. It will have adjusted to the conditions quite well. India, on the other hand, is going to come into this match with very little practice and straight out of quarantine.
Yet, at the time of this writing, New Zealand’s away from home (against Australia, India, England, and South Africa) record boasts of a total of two wins in the last fifteen years. India has shown a remarkable ability to fight back from adversity and comes into this series on the back of a famous away win in Australia.
There have been reports of a flatter and less-green pitch than normal to ensure a match that goes deep into the fifth day.
Both teams are going to be at full strength with all first-choice players available. Let us try and find some value bets in the match!
Match Prediction for WTC Final India vs New Zealand 2021. The match is going to be played at the Rose Bowl, Southampton from the 18th of July 2021.
Date: June 18, 2021 (Friday)
Time: 03:00 PM (IST)
Venue: Southampton, England
PITCH AND CONDITIONS
The groundsman has stated on record that he is trying to provide a fast and bouncy surface for this match without rolling the life out of it. That means there is going to be a lot for the fast bowlers to work with. A surface like this also tends to develop cracks as the match wears on and could be helpful for the spinners.
Getting a big first-inning total on the board is going to be crucial. We could see the game accelerate towards the end of Day 3.
IND VS NZ TEAM PREVIEWS
India has not had an easy road to the WTC Final. It needed to win against Australia in Australia and then raise its game against a tough England team at home. It has shown that it is ready to adapt to adversity and come out firing.
The biggest challenge that it has ahead of it now is a lack of match practice. There has been a 3-day intra-squad match played at Southampton but that is not close to the Test Cricket that New Zealand has been playing.
India’s Test team is quite settled although there is sure to be a lot of debate around a few key positions.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are certain to start as the opening batsmen unless there is an injury to either one of them.
These two players have quite possibly the toughest job. They have to negotiate the swing and try to find a way to avoid losing early wickets. They are naturally attacking batsmen and will play to their strengths but that may end up giving a few chances.
We are going to avoid betting markets with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill for this match.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane form the middle-order. An excellent trio by any standard and where the match is going to be won or lost. Kohli has been under pressure for not scoring a century since 2019 but we would not count him out in a Final.
Rishab Pant is good enough to bat at 6 for the team and is in good touch after scoring a century in the warm-up game.
Now comes the difficult part. Does India want to play with one or two spinners? Does it know who its best three fast-bowlers are?
We think Ravindra Jadeja is sure to start. The pitch might dictate Ashwin’s place but with a number of left-handers in the opposition, he has a great chance of playing. This leaves the three fast bowlers. Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammad Siraj appear to be the bowlers that will get the nod.
If India plays four fast-bowlers then Mohammad Shami will play.
This is a very strong team that has been practicing at the venue for the past few weeks now. Do not count it out.
India’s Probable Playing XI
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah
In contrast to India, New Zealand has had the ideal build-up to the WTC Final. It has tested out 16-17 players in the middle and won a Test Series against England. The batting looks strong and well-settled while the fight for bowling spots is intense.
We have a fair idea of what to expect from the New Zealand team for the match against India.
Devon Conway has made the opening position his own for a long time to come and is going to be starting with Tom Latham. They are going to be tested by Ishant Sharma who has historically done very well against left-handers.
Kane Williamson will bat at 3, followed by Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, and BJ Watling. Williamson is the top Test batsman in the world but his record in England is not very good. He does love to bat against India so this may be a good time to back him.
Taylor is coming into this match with an aggressive 80 to his name and expect him to continue to play freely. BJ Watling will retire after this test match and will certainly play. He has been exceptional for New Zealand in the past, including against India, but has recently struggled against the short ball.
Positions 7 and 8 are the real points of discussion. Ajaz Patel has done well but will New Zealand want to play him against India ahead of Santner? Colin de Grandhomme versus Daryl Mitchell is also a tough call and any one of those players could slot in the team pretty easily.
Picking three fast-bowlers for the WTC Final is not going to be easy. Kyle Jamieson has an excellent record against India and bats pretty well also. Tim Southee and Trent Boult are almost certain starters. That leaves the impressive Matt Henry out in the cold with someone like Neil Wagner also in the squad.
The easy option would be to play four fast bowlers and one spinner. New Zealand will have to sacrifice some batting depth but maybe someone like Jamieson can bat at number seven if needed.
New Zealand has just defeated a second strong England team but the challenge against a full-strength India team is going to be very different.
New Zealand’s Probable Playing XI
Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Will Young, BJ Watling (wk), Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner.
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohd. Siraj.
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blendell, Trent Boult, Dowayne Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young