WTC 2021 Final: Virender Sehwag looking forward to Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult contest in Southampton

India and New Zealand will clash in the WTC final from June 18-22.

Rohit Sharma | GettyCricket fans and experts are eagerly waiting for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, slated to be played between India and New Zealand in Southampton from June 18-22.

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The marquee game will also throw up some mouth-watering battles for the cricket fanatics, with Rohit Sharma versus Trent Boult being one of them.

Former India opener Virender Sehwag is also looking forward to see the clash between Rohit and Boult.

According to Sehwag, Rohit's qualities and recent form at the top of the order should give him a lot of success in England this summer.

"No doubt Trent Boult-Tim Southee combination will pose a lot of challenge for Indians. They can move the ball both ways and are brilliant while bowling in partnerships also," Sehwag told PTI in an exclusive chat.

"Boult vs Rohit Sharma will be a contest that I would be looking forward to. If Rohit gets set and see off Boult's opening spell, it will be a treat to watch," he added.

This might be Rohit's first shot at opening in English conditions, but Sehwag feels the experience of playing Tests in 2014 will help the right-hander.

"Rohit is a fantastic batsman and he has played Test cricket in England earlier also (2014) so I think he can manage well as we have seen in recent times when he has opened the batting. I have no doubt that he will score runs in England this time.

"Obviously, as it is for any opener, he would have to be careful for the first 10 overs and see off that new ball to understand the conditions first. I am sure he will get a chance to show his range of strokes," he remarked.

Besides Rohit, Sehwag is excited for dynamic wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who played a key role in India’s Test series win Down Under earlier this year.

Sehwag advised Pant to play his natural game and ignore the noise from outside.

"Rishabh Pant knows his batting better than anybody else and he should focus on what he can do best for the team rather than get worried about what ex-cricketers, commentators and media is saying," Sehwag said about pant, who has already hit a hundred in English conditions during the 2018 tour.

"The focus for Rishabh should be one one ball at a time. If the ball is there to be hit, he should hit it. I don't think he needs to change approach as he has got success with the same approach and Test matches are different ball game.

"Of late, he has understood his role in the team and he is a very critical player for India in Test matches coming in at number six. If he gets set and starts scoring runs, he can change the game in a session and we have all seen that."

Sehwag also suggested Team India to go with two spinners in their five-man bowling attack as it would bolster their lower middle-order batting.

"I don't how the wicket would look like on 18 June but one thing I have always believed is that you need to play to your strengths. If India can play with five specialist bowlers that will be great thing because I still believe that two spinners will come into effect on fourth and fifth day.

"Two spinners will be good for India because both Ashwin and Jadeja are capable all-rounders. That also adds depth to your batting. You don't need a sixth batsman with both of them around."

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 12 Jun, 2021

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