WTC Final – Match Preview
The inaugural edition of the World Test Championship Final is upon us. After a long and arduous journey of two years, India and New Zealand have earned their right to book a place in the WTC final 2021. Both the teams have reached Southampton and are raring to go up against each other in the one-off Final at The Ageas Bowl.
The BlackCaps will be high on confidence after defeating England in their own backyard without some of their key players including skipper Kane Williamson. Kiwi Opener Devon Conway had a dream debut series as he scored 304 runs in two Test matches earning him a Man of the Series award vs England. The BlackCaps will be boosted by Ross Taylor's return to form ahead of the WTC final against India.
On the other hand, Men in Blue began their training in Southampton after completing their mandatory quarantine. Kohli and co. played an intra-squad match in a bid to get acclimatized to the conditions. Most of India's starters in the playing XI had a decent game time in the 4-day practice game and will be prepared to go all guns blazing against the mighty Kiwis.
Before we take a look at WTC Final Today’s Cricket Match Prediction, here’s a look at what does this Test has to offer:
IND vs NZ – Predicted Playing XIs for the WTC Final 2021
Despite not having played a great amount of Test cricket in recent times, Team India's playing XI for the WTC Final looks largely settled. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill both will open for the first time in England and will face a huge challenge against the moving ball. India will be confident of a good show from the likes of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle-order. Rishabh Pant will take the gloves and is expected to bat at No.6 in the line-up.
Considering the pitch at Southampton, India is likely to field both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as their spin bowling all-rounders. The fast bowling trio of Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah pick themselves. However, there are talks around Mohammad Siraj getting a go-ahead of Ishant in the playing XI, which looks highly uncertain.
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
ALSO READ IND vs NZ WTC Final Dream11 Prediction
New Zealand tried a majority of their bench strength in the two Tests against England. Despite six of their key players missing in the 2nd Test, the Kiwis steamrolled a debilitated England side. Devon Conway was the biggest positive for Kiwis as the opener countered the English conditions without much fuss.
BlackCaps' strike bowlers, Tim Southee and Trent Boult, both were among wickets in the series against England. Henry Nichols and Ross Taylor also showed solidarity in the middle order. Kane Williamson and Tom Latham will look to score big as they had a below-par series against England. The only concern they will have is whether they should go with a spinner or extra pacer. New Zealand will look to decide their playing XI according to pitch condition and injury concerns if any.
New Zealand Playing XI: Devon Conway, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholas, BJ Watling(wk), Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner.
IND vs NZ Head-to-Head record in Test cricket
India won: 21
New Zealand won: 12
Looking at the IND vs NZ head-to-head records in Test cricket, India should start as favorites in the WTC final. India has won 21 matches out of a total of 59 matches against New Zealand where 26 encounters ended in draws. Hence, it will be interesting to see whether India will dominate this WTC Final like head-to-head records or will New Zealand continue their recent form against India as well.
IND vs NZ WTC Final 2021 – Players to Watch out for
India will be keen to put in some brilliant performance against New Zealand in this final of the ICC World Test Championship. Rohit Sharma will have a point to prove in this final as he will be eager to perform outside India as a Test opener. He will surely be one of the players to watch in this big Final. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane both will be keen to replicate their experience in the performance. Rishabh Pant, one of India's rising stars, will consider the final as a huge opportunity at quite an early stage in his career.
On the other side, New Zealand played some good cricket against England so they will look to continue it in this final as well. Kane Williamson will be the main man and would look to improve his numbers in England. Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls will want to continue their good form. Kyle Jamieson, who was India's nemesis in his debut series, will be keen to replicate his success against India even in the WTC final.
IND vs NZ Today Match Prediction – Who will win today’s WTC Final?
Both teams have equal quality as both are playing the final of the World Test Championship 2021. The pace attack of both the teams is evenly matched, although India will have the upper hand in the spin department. It will be a competitive match as far as their batting lineups are concerned. The team which will outperform the other one in the batting department will get success in this match. However, the recent series victory and two-match performance just before the final will give the edge to New Zealand.