India and New Zealand are gearing up for the inaugural ICC World Championship Finals (WTC), which is scheduled to take place at the Aegis Bowl in Southampton. The summit is starting on June 18, and both squads will have begun a countdown. India and New Zealand have indeed been two of the strongest teams in the inaugural WTC cycle, and their battle will be intense. However, one can say that with the Kiwi England and New Zealand conditions being similar, there would be little benefit. However, they still need to put their best foot forward as India are the top-order Test team. In the meantime, let’s look at a possible playing XI for New Zealand’s WTC Finals. India’s predetermined playing eleven for the ICC World Test Championship final: a possible Indian cricket team line-up for the summit clash against New Zealand.
Opener: Tom Latham has been one of the consistent openers in Test cricket over the years, and the Kiwis will have high expectations from him. Southeastern is technically solid, and his habit of staying at the crease for a long time is a major headache for bowlers. Latham will accompany Tom Blundell. A veteran of 10 Test matches, Blundell has played some impressive bouts in his short career, but dealing with Indian pacers will be a challenging task in England conditions. Therefore, the right-handed batsman will have to turn in his A-game. India v New Zealand, ICC World Test Championship 2021 Finals: 8-day bubble in India, 10-day quarantine in UK from 2 June, family to travel.
Middle order: Top-order Test batsman and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will come in at number three and needless to say that he will be crucial to Kiwi’s success. However, Williamson’s recent performance in Test cricket has been jaw-dropping, and Virat Kohli’s men will need some game planning to keep him calm. Captain Ross Taylor will be followed by Captain. The 37-year-old may be at the end of his career, but is still dominant. In addition, Taylor has an experience playing in these situations, and it will come in handy.
Henry Nicholls comes in at number five, and will be asked to deal with the Indian spinners. With seven Test centuries under his belt, the right-hander is very familiar with the practice of this format, and Indians cannot underestimate him.
wicket keeper: BJ Watling is arguably the most underrated cricketer around, but his numbers in Test cricket are not average. In 73 matches, Watling scored over 3,700 runs, including eight centuries. Not to forget, Watling is one of the best when it comes to keeping in red-ball cricket. He would actually be a useful asset with the game taking place at the Green Southampton track.
All-rounder: Darl Mitchell and Michelle Sentner, two powerful players, are in contention for the number seven slot. Daryl is actually one of the better batsmen of the two, but Sentner will contribute a lot more in the bowling department. In addition, the final four spots will be occupied by the Pacers, and therefore, Sentner should be the dominant spinner on the side.
Bowler: Now, this is an area where New Zealand is arguably the best in the world. In Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, the Kiwi team has a brisk attack, and the Indian batsmen will certainly not get any relief. Be it speed, swing, seam, bounce or variation, this attack provides everything and New Zealand fans will be expecting to see the stumps flying. In particular, all these fast bowlers have tasted half-century in Test cricket, and the world knows the struggle against India’s tail.
Possible playing XI for New Zealand WTC Finals: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult
(The above story first appeared on May 09, 2021 07:29 PM IST. For more news and updates about politics, the world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website.)