With the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand just 25 days away, former Pakistan batsman Salman Butt opined on which team according to him will have the upper hand before going into the finals at Southampton.
According to Butt, in the English conditions, the team with stronger basics and technique will do well in the Test match.
“I think the application of technique (could decide the result) if the conditions are truly English. If the English weather plays its part and there is off-the-pitch seam movement, then it will show which team has stronger basics and which team has better technique application,” Butt said.
“Another difference will be how their bowling line-ups shape up because line and length play a massive role usually. When you play on a pitch that provides assistance to the pace bowlers, then line and length are crucial. If you are off the mark, runs will be scored,” he added.
With Kane Williamson’s New Zealand side touring England for a two-match Test series before facing India will be better prepared for the English conditions.
“Since the match is in June and since New Zealand would be better prepared for the English conditions (due to the two-Tests series against England before the WTC final), they would definitely hold an edge,” the southpaw said.
“New Zealand would have the momentum because of continuity in Test cricket as they would go (into the final) on the back of two matches. Whereas, India (without any match practice), would be waiting for them in the finals,” he added.
Thus, it will be interesting to see how both teams India and New Zealand which are ranked No.1 and No.2 in the ICC Test rankings go about in the WTC final slated to begin at Southampton from June 18.
(With Hindustan Times inputs)