WTC final: Team comparisons
The whole cricket world is awaiting with bated breath for the World Test Championships final. Both teams are undergoing intense preparations. New Zealand is coming off a big series win over England. Therefore will be high on confidence while the Indians are undergoing intense match simulation practice at Southampton as a part of their preparations. WTC final: Team comparisons India v New Zealand.
As the temperature is rising for the all-important clash. Let us compare both the teams on various parameters WTC final: Team comparisons India v New Zealand-
New Zealand will open with Tom Latham and Devon Conway. Latham has a decent record in England and very capable of playing long innings while Conway had an absolutely outstanding debut series against England and so will be high on confidence.
The first choice Indian openers have no experience of opening in test cricket against the dukes ball in English conditions. Therefore it will be a big challenge for both the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shuvman Gill to face up to Boult and Southee who are lethal in English conditions.
Hence New Zealand has the edge in the opening batting department.
Very little to chose between the Indian middle order and New Zealand middle order. If we cross-check individually we find that Ross Taylor has a better record than Pujara in England as Taylor averages 40 against Pujara’s 29.
Kohli has a much superior record in England than Kane Williamson. Who surprisingly has averaged only 26 in England compared to 36 in England for Kohli. Also, Kohli will draw a lot of confidence from his last series in England in 2018 when he scored 593 runs in the series.
Rahane does not have a great average in England either which is around 29 compared to Nicholls’ 35. However, Nicholls never played in England before the recently finished series. Hence there cannot be a fair comparison between the two.
Hence it appears that in the middle order both teams are evenly poised.
Wicket keeping :
Rishabh Pant’s century at the Oval in 2018 and his recent heroics in Australia. Along with his much-improved keeping puts him much ahead of BJ Watling who has been an accomplished keeper for New Zealand but lacks the firepower of Pant’s batting.
Hence India is leading in the keeping department.
New Zealand is no match for India in this department. Colin DeGrandhome & Ajaz Patel are very average cricketers compared to Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin who are superstars. Jadeja’s batting has improved in the last 3 years and Ashwin once again has rediscovered his batting touch.
In bowling absolutely no comparison as Ashwin and Jadeja are two of the best spinners in test cricket.
Hence India is far ahead and more dominant in the spinners & all-rounders category than New Zealand.
Both teams are blessed with very good pace attack. While Bumrah, Siraj, Ishant and Shami are better than New Zealand pacers on drier conditions, Boult, Southee, Wagner and Jamieson are more lethal than the Indians if the ball swings more.
Moreover, New Zealand has more variety in their pace attack with Boult and Wagner providing the left arm angles and Jamieson extracting steep bounce in addition to movement with his 6′ 8″ height.
Therefore in English conditions and the weather forecast that is expected at Southampton during the WTC final, the New Zealand pace attack is ahead than their Indian counterparts .
Thus we find that New Zealand is ahead of India in pace bowling and opening batting departments whereas India are much batter than the Blackcaps in spin / allround department and wicketkeeper batsmen.
Both the teams seems to be equal in the middleorder batting .
However , one area where India is ahead of New Zealand is the fact that they have won more tests abroad in the 2019-21 cycle of World test Championships with multiple wins in West Indies and Australia . At the same time New Zealand will be going into the finals with a confidence boosting Test series win vs England and therefore are more attuned with the conditions .
Thus both teams are evenly poised going into the WTC final. This will be a great and intense game of Test cricket.