World Test Championship Final, India Vs New Zealand: Players To Watch Out For
Here's a look at the top players from both India and New Zealand ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, starting from June 18.
- India take on New Zealand in the WTC final beginning on Friday
- Both teams have several quality players who can make the difference
- We take a look at the top players from both sides
The date of June 18 will be a historic day for the cricket calendar as the first-ever World Test Championship final will pit two of the world's best Test sides, India and New Zealand, at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. While New Zealand are coming from a fresh 1-0 win against hosts England in a two-Test series, the Indian team have been prepping up through regular training and an intra-squad match at the match venue. Both teams possess immense depth in their squads overall, consisting of some high-profile specialist batters and bowlers.
While India boasts the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah in their squad, New Zealand have an equally skilled squad consisting of skipper Kane Williamson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee and Tom Latham.
Here's a look at the top 3 players from both teams to watch out in the WTC Final:
Virat Kohli: The Indian captain's previous record and tours of England defines how the right-handed maestro learnt from each of his previous outings in the country. With the incentive of leading the nation to its maiden WTC win, Kohli can be expected to dictate terms if he gets a steady start at the beginning and his eye in.
The India captain had a torrid time with the bat when he first toured England but redeemed himself when he went to England in 2018 by outscoring everyone. Kohli has played 10 Tests in England and has scored 727 runs at an average of 36.35. Out of these 727 runs, 593 came during India's last tour to England in 2018.
Rishabh Pant: The explosive Indian wicketkeeper-batsman has been one of the most highly-rated player in world cricket for the past of couple of years. Pant's unorthodox batsmanship and his nature of taking the game to the opposition, regardless of the situation, can surely be the X-factor that India need against a strong New Zealand attack.
The young wicketkeeper-batsman announced himself in Test cricket by smashing Adil Rashid for a six over long-on in his debut game. In England, the left-hander has scored 162 runs in three Test matches. His highest score came at the Oval when he smashed 114 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah: A bowling attack involving Jasprit Bumrah gives an extra tooth to the Indian team. And along with the likes of Mohammed Shami, Bumrah can wreak havoc against any batting order in the world. His peculiar action and the ability to make the ball skid off the surface makes it tough for a batsman to deal with.
Bumrah has been India's go-to bowler irrespective of the conditions. He has played three Tests in England and has picked up 14 wickets, including a five-wicket haul at Nottingham.
Kane Williamson: The world's top-ranked Test batter will be equally dangerous as before despite returning from an elbow injury. Williamson has been in tremendous form in the longest format of the game with two double centuries in the summer of 2020-21 (251 and 238 against the West Indies and Pakistan respectively). He scored a total of three centuries across four innings to stamp his authority and issue a warning to the oppositions.
Williamson, however, averages just 26.10 in England. Despite scoring a hundred at Lord's, Williamson, in five Tests in the UK, has just 261 runs under his belt.
Ross Taylor: One of the most experienced members of the New Zealand squad, Taylor forms the backbone of the batting middle-order. His ability to change gears against spin as well as pace makes him a key figure against the quality Indian spin of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
The veteran batsman averages over 40 in England in Test cricket. Taylor has played nine Tests in England and scored 650 runs including an unbeaten knock of 154 that came in Manchester in 2008.
Trent Boult: Boult missed the first Test against England in the just-concluded series, but showcased his class when he bowled brilliantly in the second to help his team claim the series against the hosts. With his traditional left-arm inswingers casting doubts in the minds of the right-handed batsman, the Indian team will have to play the bowler with utmost care and respect.
Boult enjoys bowling in England. He has picked up 27 wickets in five Tests, including two five-wicket hauls. He averages 22.40 in England with the ball.