With IPL 2021 postponed indefinitely, the focus has shifted firmly on the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand. Ahead of the summit clash in Southampton, England which begins on June 18, the Indian team has reached the venue of the final and will undergo a strict quarantine period before they can start their preparations for the big final.
Adding that the cold overhead conditions in England might just favour New Zealand a bit, but one can count India out only at their peril. It was evident time and again in Australia that Kohli and his charges came back strongly when under pressure and turned the situation in their favour with a doggedness, one doesn’t necessarily associate with Indian teams.
Both India and New Zealand have played quality cricket in the past few years and the credit goes to their captains Kohli and Williamson respectively for leading their team from the front. After acquiring the top spots on the World Test Championship points table. But with New Zealand getting an early taste of English conditions, what India must do to stop the Kiwi charge.
If you look at their names — no one would be scared of Kane Williamson alone, no one will be scared of Tom Latham alone or all their fast bowlers. Their ability to perform together. Just for the record, during the ongoing Test against England, skipper Williamson failed to make a significant contribution-yet the team ended up scoring formidable 378 thanks to debutant Devon Convey’s double ton. The Kiwis possess an uncanny knack of causing an upset as more often than not, they are the ultimate underdogs.
WTC: NZ get a good match practice
For the record, Devon Conway had played 108 first-class matches before stepping on the field at Lord’s on Wednesday, with 7,130 runs at an impressive average of 47.21. Since shifting base to New Zealand, Conway has been a prolific run-scorer for Wellington in the Plunket Shield.
However, what transpired over the course of the first hour and the entire day thereafter, would’ve surely impressed Williamson and the Kiwi team management, as Devon Conway vindicated their trust with a nerveless and secure display of batsmanship.
With a decently-built technique and good powers of concentration and stamina to bat long hours, Devon Conway proved through his knock to be a player that India must be wary of and prepare earnestly for.
WTC: Contrasting captaincy styles
That Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson offer two contrasting styles of leadership adds spice to the contest. Both are inspirational leaders in their own way but lead their teams indifferently. One (Kohli) is out and out aggressive, while the other (Williamson) is a dominant leader but is not as expressive as his counterpart. They are true ambassadors of the game and are the must-watch talents of the present time.
Test cricket is about sessions. Each can be intriguing because of the weather factor. Within minutes, it changes from sunny to cloudy. So you have to be tactically good and technically sound when you play in England, which will test the captaincy skills of the duo. New Zealand are already in England, playing a two-Test series against the hosts. They are scheduled to finish their second Test at Edgbaston on June 14, a mere four days ahead of the WTC final. It is already talked up as a game-changer for Test cricket, and every cricket fan will be hoping it lives up to the excitement.