The inaugural World Test Championship 2021 is about to be played and it is fitting the two top-ranked teams of the world have made the final. India vs New Zealand WTC Final 2021 promises to be an exciting contest for what many are calling the pinnacle of cricket as we know it. The match is being played at Southampton since it has an attached Hotel for the Indian team to quarantine. While India has played just a couple of days of intra-squad matches to warm-up, New Zealand comes into this contest with a series win against England to its name.
It is surprising that sites like 10Cric are giving India the tag of the favorites.
India vs New Zealand WTC Final 2021
Teams’ strengths & weaknesses
India is a very strong Test team that has become much better away from home in the last few years. The core of the batting setup is world-class with Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle. India also has a bowling attack that is the envy of the world. There are genuine fast-bowlers that can make use of seaming conditions as well as two spinners that will go down as legends of the game. India's biggest challenge is going to be adapting to the conditions quickly.
New Zealand has the advantage of having grown up in seam-friendly conditions. Their batsmen already know what to expect and their bowlers are trained in extracting the most out of such conditions. The New Zealand batting lineup is also quite solid thanks to the emergence of players like Devon Conway and the presence of the top-ranked Test batsman in the world, Kane Williamson. The caliber of its fast-bowlers is equal, if not superior, to the Indians as well. They lack a bit in the spin department and that could be an issue.
Players in form
India last played Test Cricket at home in conditions that are diametrically opposite to what we see here. Still, taking their top-performers from that time and the number of left-handers in the opposition, Ravichandran Ashwin is the bowler to watch out for. He ran through the England players when he last played and will fancy himself against New Zealand as well.
Devon Conway is the name that immediately comes to mind when we talk about New Zealand players in form, He scored a double century on debut and could have easily have had another century in the second test against England. New Zealand also has a tremendous bowling attack out of which we think Tim Southee is in great form. He picked up six wickets against England and will come into the WTC Final well rested.
The forecast for the weather is mixed. There is rain forecast for the first couple of days after which the outlook improves. The pitch at Southampton is usually a well-balanced surface where the fast bowlers get some help for the first few days and then the spinners come into play during the final couple of days of the match.
- The last time New Zealand beat India out of New Zealand was way back in 1989
- India lost the most recent series against New Zealand 2-0 just a year ago
- New Zealand managed to get more swing on average in their series against England than any other team in history has got
There are only two real possibilities for India vs New Zealand WTC Final 2021: A draw or a victory for New Zealand. Having played cricket in England just prior to this match is a huge advantage. We also think New Zealand's batting is better suited to combat the swinging conditions than India. India has had no practice or warm-up match and will come into this contest undercooked.
Winner: New Zealand (2.62)