The Final of the inaugural World Test Championship 2021 is all set to kick-start on June 18 at Southampton. The top two sides in the ICC World Test Championship Points Table, India, and New Zealand will lock horns in what is expected to be a grueling five days of Test cricket. Both the teams have earned their right to be in the WTC final with their consistent run throughout the Test Championship cycle.
Ranked atop in the points table, India won all the three home Test series in this Championship. They even returned triumph on away tours of Australia and the West Indies. India's only series loss came against New Zealand on the Kiwi soil. On the other hand, New Zealand also won all three home series including a series victory against India. Despite failing to win away from home, the BlackCaps have managed to secure a berth in the WTC final against India.
As the countdown for the marquee clash begins, a lot of former players have opined on the possible result of the final between India and New Zealand. The likes of Pat Cummins, Michael Vaughan, Brett Lee, and others feel the conditions will suit New Zealand who will start as favorites ahead of the final. However, some of the former Indian players including Parthiv Patel and VVS Laxman have picked India to dominate the Kiwis in the final at Southampton.
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Here's a detailed look at the prediction made by a few former cricketers ahead of the WTC final:
Former Players who predict India as the Winner of WTC Final 2021
VVS Laxman: Former Indian Batsman and commentator VVS Laxman has predicted India will be favorites to win the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship. Laxman weighs on India's recent Test victory in Australia will give them huge confidence to take down any team on their given day.
Monty Panesar: The former English spinner, Monty Panesar puts India ahead in this Final against New Zealand. He said that their lack of ability to play spin will cause trouble for them. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will play a big role to win this game for India, he added.
Dilip Vengsarkar: The 1983 World Cup winner, Dilip Vengsarkar has backed Virat Kohli's India as a better team than their opponents for the final. “If you compare the New Zealand team to the Indian team, man to man, India looks the better team,” Vengsarkar told Khaleej Times. A 116-Test veteran was of the view that sees India as a quality side in each department of the game.
Parthiv Patel: Former Wicket-Keeper batsman Parthiv Patel also backed India for this inaugural Final of WTC. He also predicted that Cheteshwar Pujara will be the highest run-scorer and Mohammad Shami will be the highest wicket-taker in this game.
Vaughan, Lee among those who back NZ to win the WTC Final
Michael Vaughan: Former England captain, Micheal Vaughan is quite straightforward in making his bold prediction ahead of the start of any major Test series. For the WTC Final, Vaughan feels that the Kiwis will have the edge over Kohli and co. Vaughan's predictions are surrounded around the English conditions and the duke ball which might be more suited to New Zealand rather than India. He was also of the view that Kiwis' preparations for the WTC final will receive a major boost with the two-match Test series England.
Brett Lee: Former Aussie pacer Brett Lee views New Zealand to have an edge over India in the WTC final 2021. He also said that familiar conditions will help Kiwis to win the trophy of the ICC World Test Championship.
Scott Styris: Scott Styris, former Kiwi all-rounder went a step ahead in making his WTC final prediction. Along with NZ as a winner of the final, he also predicted that they would win by six wickets and Devon Conway would be the highest run-scorer in this final against India.
Aakash Chopra: The former Indian Test opener and current commentator Aakash Chopra also put NZ slightly ahead in this marvelous contest of WTC Final at Southampton. He backed past results of New Zealand against India in Test cricket, and also mentioned that NZ can beat India in familiar conditions.
Brendon McCullum: The attacking former opener and former Kiwi Captain Brendon McCullum also backed New Zealand for this clash of titans against India in the big WTC Final. He said that NZ will have a 60-40 advantage over India.
Pat Cummins: Like other former legends, current ICC top-ranked bowler Pat Cummins also made his prediction for the ICC World Test Championship Final. He said that overcast conditions will support Kiwi's pace attack.
Irfan Pathan: Former Indian left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan also put NZ ahead against India in this final. Irfan Pathan said that NZ will have a 55-45 advantage over India at Southampton.