What makes New Zealand favourites for WTC crown

12
Advertisement


There’s something about the New Zealand cricket team that sets them apart from the rest of the powerhouses. The Kiwis have a long history of producing gritty cricketers and making it to major tournament finals, and the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) decider against India presents another opportunity for them to get over the agony of Lord’s two years ago, and finally reign supreme. Across the cricket spectrum, the Kiwis are known to be perennial underdogs. They somehow seem to be comfortable with that tag, as it often brings out the best in their side.

In times, where the ‘Big Three’ of India, England, and Australia dominate the game’s finances, governance, and market share, New Zealand’s impressive performances are all too often overlooked.

The Kane Williamson-led Black Caps, who on Sunday registered an impressive win in the second Test against England are better prepared than India, as they’ve already had some quality game-time after stepping onto the English shores.

Playing the WTC decider at Southampton, which has an integrated quarantine facility, has spared New Zealand the emotional burden of playing another final at cricket’s spiritual home, given their painful memories.

In England, the conditions can change pretty quickly with bright sunshine making way for a dark cloud cover, something bowlers on both sides will be mindful of.

When one talks about English conditions, there’s a standard line that captains need to keep in their mind-‘conditions are the kings’ and one funnily could say that clouds and not the outfield needs some cover.

Virat Kohli’s Team India will hope to secure their maiden ICC trophy since 2013 when they square off against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the final of the Test Championship from June 18.

World Test Championship: The Kiwi conundrum

Many experts have spoken about how India’s stands at a disadvantage as they have had no match practice before the big final.

The fact that Kane Williamson’s New Zealand have already played two Test matches in England will give them the edge over Virat Kohli’s India, who have had to rely on intra-squad practice match.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli argues it is not fair comparison as teams seldom win in India. Southampton is neutral territory, but the Indian camp knows a wet English summer will give New Zealand conditions like home.

A win in the final will recast the argument and Kohli’s view of victory-as-a-process would get a ringing endorsement if India beat England in the five-Test series that follows. It will also help end a 14-year wait as India’s last win came under Dravid in 2007.

On the flipside, there’s an unpopular notion that playing a two-Test series before the World Test Championship final could go against New Zealand as it’s players might be worn out or carry a niggle.

Kohli argues it is not fair comparison as teams seldom win in India. Southampton is neutral territory, but the Indian camp knows a wet English summer will give New Zealand conditions like home.

A win in the final will recast the argument and Kohli’s view of victory-as-a-process would get a ringing endorsement if India beat England in the five-Test series that follows. It will also help end a 14-year wait as India’s last win came under Dravid in 2007.

Do you want to play Casino games online? Click here to find a range of online casino brands

Place your bets for the matches here.

If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com

Also, follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.com

To bet on sports, click here

Advertisement