The World Test Championship Final is only ten days away, and the players and the fans have begun the countdown to this mega event. Both the teams must be planning to get one over the other and look to counter their team’s weaknesses and attempt to find one in the opposition. India and New Zealand have faced each other quite a few times now and know each other pretty well. Today, we look at some key battles to look out for in the upcoming final.
1) Ravichandran Ashwin and Tom Latham
Ravichandran Ashwin is the second-ranked bowler in the ICC Test rankings deservedly so. His record against left-handers is impressive and can cause trouble on any pitch. On the other hand, Tom Latham, the vice-captain of the New Zealand side, is a determined opener looking to overcome his spin problems. His record against spin is decent and can be better, and he has some flaws in his game. These flaws will be what Ashwin will be looking to use and get some early wickets for his team. This battle is a one for the middle overs but can’t be overlooked at the same time.
2) Trent Boult and Rohit Sharma
Both Trent Boult and Rohit Sharma know each other pretty well since they play for the Mumbai Indians. Boult always looks determined when it comes to bowling to right-handers, especially Indians, since they have a weakness to inswinging balls from a left-arm bowler. Boult has utilised this weakness and made it his strength and taken wickets of the options in this manner more often than not. On the other hand, Rohit has struggled against the left-arm pace but would be looking forward to this challenge once again. This battle can be match-defining since the Indian batsman is a crucial cog to the batting order. If he overcomes this test, he will be destined for a big score.
3) Virat Kohli vs. Tim Southee
This battle goes a long way since both have played each other since 2008 Under 19 World Cup. Both have emerged as leaders for their respective teams and would be looking for further glory this time around. Southee has dismissed Kohli in the last three of the five innings he has played against New Zealand. But in those three innings, Virat has scored over two hundred runs. These statistics speak about the credibility of both the players and will be a battle everyone looks forward to.
4) Jasprit Bumrah vs Kane Williamson
Jasprit Bumrah and Kane Williamson are both key players for their respective teams. Williamson is the crucial player in the New Zealand batting line-up, whereas Bumrah is a bowler that will get breakthroughs for his team. When Williamson walks out to bat in the final, it is destined that the captain will give the ball to Bumrah and want the Kiwi mainstay’s wicket. This battle will also be match-defining and will be the one even the players look forward to.
These battles will make the match final worthy and can determine the course of action for the game. These battles will result from how the match went and who deserved to win the final at the end.