Kohli Chases First ICC Trophy; Kiwis to break Final’s Jinx | Daily News

Kohli Chases First ICC Trophy; Kiwis to break Final’s Jinx

Blackcaps would have determined to put away their agonizing memories from Summer 2019 which costed them a world Cup after a last-ball thriller when they arrived in UK ahead of the ICC World Test Championship final.

Asian giants India shaping up for the final with an unflagging aim to mark their dominance in last decade with an ICC Crown, claiming the biggest test match of the history.

The ICC test Championship played over two years as ICC test playing nations faced each other in bilateral test series in league format which carried points for each test match.

Kiwis were the first to qualify, a quite remarkable feat for a country whose annual revenue is less than of an English county cricket club. Nonetheless with strong team culture, meticulous planning, inspiring leadership they achieved supremacy at home over the past years by winning 7 matches out of total 11 matches they played under the championship. Powerhouse India on the other hand played 17 games and won 12 comprehensively including series wins in both home and away to rightfully earn their place in this prestigious event.

New Zealand played two test matches against Englishmen prior to the final, which could be an ideal warm up before the big event. Winning the series 1-0 after 40 odd years against English side on their soil will boost up their confidence as they take on the biggest challenge later this week.

Abandoning IPL mid-way through due to COVID pandemic, Indians might not have enough red ball cricket under their belt going into the final, having played only handful of intra-squad games.

Captain Virat Kohli can keep his head high on the exciting bunch of players in his lineup who are well capable of rising to big occasions and deliver.

To drastically different captains; a super energetic, electrifying, gutsy one who is giving his all on the ground against a cool, calm and composed one who likes to turn his emotions down to third man for a single will marshal their troops in this thrilling encounter and would like to come on top with the bat on hand as both of them considered as two of the best batsmen in the world right now.

Both sides are not short of sheer talent and real match winners who can exclusively turn a result of a match upside down. Talking of matchups, New Zealand’s brutal face attack lead by Trent Boult and Tim Southee, who are in prime form, firing their guns over rock solid Indian top order will be the contest to look out for.

Well experienced Indian batting line up must dig deep and with the depth of the batting they have; an area Kane Williamson might find uncovered in his XI, specially the duo of Rishabh Pant, “Sir” Jadeja might prove decisive in Indian inning.

Indians are rich in spin department as typically with both R Ashwin and Jadeja likely to be in playing XI in spin friendly conditions at Ageas Bowl. Kiwis might find themselves lacking having only one genuine spinner in their squad who also had played only nine tests.

Both teams have selection dilemmas looking into friday as recently concluded England series certainly gave headaches for New Zealand selectors with new coming players performing exceptionally. Left-handed opening batsman Devon Conway grabbed his opportunity in both hands by hammering brilliant double hundred in his debut.

Matt Henry was astonishing with new ball and will contest with Kylie Jamieson ,6”8 frame from Auckland with a stellar start to test career coupling up with strong numbers against India and the true warrior in Kiwi attack, Neil Wagner who always bowl his heart out in any situation of the game when the team demands.

Indians do have a settled line up with 6 specialist batsmen, wicket keeper, two spin allrounders and 3 genuine fast bowlers. Mohammed Siraj was impressive during last 6 months and might have file a major case to earn a place in starting Xi ahead of Mohmmad Shami.

Simon Lee: Chief Groundman- Ageas bowl, Southampton beckons pace, bounce and carry in first few days of the test, but it will be a bat-first pitch as it might dried up towards the latter part of the match looking at the forecast.
Though Euro 2020 rolling up headlines in sports arena this week cricket globe will tune-up to the southern coast of England during the weekend to witness who walks away with prize money of Us dollars 1.6 Mn along with the Inaugural test championship.

Probable XIs
■. India: (1)R Sharma, (2)S Gill, (3)C Pujara(4)V Kohli (C)(5)A Rahane,(6)R Pant (Wk),(7)R Jadeja,(8)R Ashwin ,(9) J Bumrah , (10) I Sharma , (11) M Shami/M Siraj

■. New Zealand: (1)T Latham, (2)D Conway, (3)K Williamson (C)(4)R Taylor 5)H Nicolls,(6)BJ Watling (Wk),(7)K Jamieson ,(8)T Southee ,(9) T Boult , (10) N Wagner/ M Henry , (11) A Patel
(Tharana Ravindu)

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