India played 6 Bilateral series facing West Indies, South Africa, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia and England, and won 5 and lost 1 among these series.
The course of the India’s game rests heavily on the big names of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. These mainstays have to play a stable innings which will be integral in the biggest ICC final to take place. Apart from these stars, the rising Southpaw Rishab Pant will be vital to the middle order of the lineup, to provide the explosive innings he always does. Gill playing his first big game, will look to prove his mettle too.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin both will have to web their ways to castle or trap the New Zealand batters for India to win the game. The pace bowling trio has good experience in the likes of Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, and they look deadly. The combination of 5 bowlers looks amazing for India and apart from these 5, Rohit Sharma can rotate his arms too if required. They have enough firepower in their warehouse, can they beat NZ and be crowned the first ICC Test Champions?
Playing – 11
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami.
After a rough start to life in the World Test Championship, New Zealand have become the first team to qualify for this year’s final in June. But as we say, “do not judge a book by its cover” the Kiwis made it to the finals with a lot of Ups & Downs and honestly with a lot of luck too.
The Kiwis will be thrilled with the emergence of Devon Conway at the top of the order after he scored a double ton in his maiden Test at Lord’s. Perhaps the only concern for New Zealand will be captain Kane Williamson’s troublesome elbow, which had side-lined him from the Birmingham Test. The Kiwis also played smart by resting the big players in the 2nd Test match to keep them fresh for the Final.
New Zealand currently defeated England at their home 1-0 in a two-match series where Tim Southee led the Kiwi bowling attack taking six wickets in the first inning of the first test. Unfortunately, due to a washout of the 3rd day the Kiwis had to settle with a draw which was not the case in the 2nd match as they made a remarkable statement by completely outplaying the England team at their home. The Kiwi past attack looks deadly and with the pace and bounce on the pitch can turn out to be the match winner for NZ. However, Ajaz Patel will most likely be the sole specialist spinner for the kiwis.
Possible – 11
Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel.
Only twice have teams scored in excess of 500 at Southampton. We have also seen three drawn games at this venue out of the six played. India has played two matches on this pitch and has lost both the matches in 2014 & 2018, whereas New Zealand have never played a match at this venue.
The pitch curator for the Southampton Final Match aims for “pace, bounce & carry” with some assistance for the spinners in the later half of the game.
Will New Zealand upset India like the 2019 Semi-finals? or Will India give a fitting reply? The stakes are high in the biggest ICC final ever. Both the teams will be eying the prize and both has enough firepower in their arsenal to pull it off. However, it’ll take a reasonable amount of hard work and planning for either of the teams to emerge victorious. Toss will be playing a huge advantage. Will Kohli get his toss right? This match is a treat to watch for the fans with 2 heavyweights clashing head-on.
Given the stakes, weather, pitch conditions and multiple other factors,
Team India might come out on top in this opening clash.
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