Former India captain and BCCI chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar says that lack of match practice before the ICC World Test Championship against New Zealand would hurt Team India.
Team India and New Zealand are all set to lock horns with each other in the final of WTC between 18-22th June at Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Ahead of the WTC final, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand are facing England in the two-match Test series which would be the ideal preparation for them while Virat Kohli-led Team India will have practice sessions before heading into the final of the ICC event.
However, many pundits including Dilip Vengsarkar feels that New Zealand might hold the edge over Team India as they are playing two Tests against England.
Former BCCI chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar lauded both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma as world-class players and it is a big positive for them that both are in good form. He added that but lack of match practise may hurt them in the first Test match.
“Well, he (Kohli) has been around for a long time. He (Kohli) is one of the best batsmen in world cricket at the moment. Players like Virat or Rohit Sharma, are world-class players, they take a lot of pride in their performance and pride in winning matches for India.
"It is a good thing and both are in very good form. But having said that, I think lack of match practise may hurt them in the first Test match that is what I feel," Dilip Vengsarkar told PTI.
Vengsarkar said that Team India is in great form but New Zealand playing against England before the WTC final gives them an added advantage.
"India is a better team and in great form. The advantage with New Zealand, it is a low profile team, the thing is that they are getting to play two Test matches before the Test match (World Test Championship final).
"So it is important... it is a slight advantage to New Zealand... because they have already played two Test matches before they start (of the WTC final), they are acclimatised to the conditions," he said.
The former BCCI chief selector pointed out that Team India should have played two-three matches before the WTC final to get acclimatised to the conditions. He added that playing the match and spending time in the middle would’ve been a great help ahead of the big game.
"What I feel is that India should have played games, you know matches, at least two-three games before the Test match (WTC), to get acclimatised to the conditions. It is advisable to play matches and spend time in the middle, both for batsmen as well as for bowlers.
“A match practice is ultimate, you may have net practice, you know a match stimulation, but playing a match in the middle and spending time in the middle always helps, when you play the big game," he concluded.
Team India will square off against England in the five-Test series, starting after the final of WTC.