Ajit Agarkar expects New Zealand pace attack, English conditions to trouble India in WTC final

The inaugural WTC final is scheduled to be held in Southampton from June 18-22.

India and New Zealand will square off in WTC final | GettyWith nearly a week to go for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, former pacer Ajit Agarkar has said that the potent Kiwi pace attack in addition to English conditions will challenge Team India in the marquee game.  

The inaugural edition of the WTC final is scheduled to be held in Southampton from June 18-22.

See Also: R Ashwin expects Team India to perform in the WTC final like they did on Australia tour

"It (New Zealand pace attack) has certainly got a lot of variety. I mean it is because you look at someone like (Kyle) Jamieson who is a tall guy and will pose a different challenge," Agarkar said while speaking on Star Sports show GAME PLAN.

"Boult and Southee both will bowl, one delivery coming into you, one delivery going away from you, as a right-hander. And then (Neil) Wagner, when nothing is happening, and you know, everything seems flat, he comes and does something and has been doing it on a regular basis. So the challenges are a bit different," he added.

According to Agarkar, conditions at the Ageas Bowl are going to favour the Kane Williamson-led side.

"Also what works in their favour is the condition, because you are playing in England, it is almost like what you get in New Zealand. So that makes it a little bit easier with that Duke ball which does swing around. So the challenges are a lot.

"More so because India has not had any Test cricket in recent time, not a Test cricket away from home since the Australia tour. Australian conditions are completely different. So that's the biggest challenge. And that's why I feel the preparations (have) got to be the key," he said.

Earlier this year, India had registered a historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia even though the visitors were badly hit by injuries and without their regular skipper Virat Kohli (paternity leave).

Reflecting on their recent performances, Agarkar said India's strength lies in their ability to win with different players.

"I think a couple of things, resilience or just belief in your ability or in your own team. Look at the England series at home, we expected India to win.

"Yes, the conditions suit their (India) wicket or their spin bowling, but they lost the first Test comprehensively. They came back and beat England really well in the next three Tests," Agarkar said.

"Look at Australia (series), they (India) lost that first Test, bowled out for what 36 -- losing the host of your first team players, whether it's your best batsman in the team, Virat Kohli, your best bowler in the team, Mohammad Shami, those sort of losses.

"By the end of the series, you had a Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj bowling for you, against a full-strength Australian team and you still managed to find a way to win in those situations. So, the depth in that team -- even though there was not a lot of experience -- the guys that came in had enough belief that they could turn up. That's been India's strength."


By Salman Anjum - 10 Jun, 2021

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