ICC WTC Final: Venkatapathy Raju Highlights An Area Where New Zealand Are Stronger Than India
Venkatapathy Raju. (Credits: Web)

Former Indian left-arm spinner and selector Venkatapathy Raju has opened up on the significant factor that might hamper chances in the ICC World Test Championship final. India and New Zealand will compete for the ultimate prize in Test cricket when they lock horns in the two-year tournament-decider on the 18th of June in Southampton. However, an absence of seam-bowling all-rounder like Hardik Pandya worries Venkatapathy Raju since the Black Caps have plenty of such players.

Hardik Pandya has not played Test cricket since August 2018. Despite his brilliant showing in limited-overs cricket of late, the selectors have not opted him for the upcoming tour of England and chose plenty of spin-bowling all-rounders. The 27-year old also took a five-wicket haul in Test cricket in 2018 and batted reasonably well.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: Getty Images)

Venkatapathy Raju observed that New Zealand looks strong as they have good all-rounders, with Kyle Jamieson being in excellent form with the red ball. The 51-year old conceded that the Kiwis have good seam-bowling all-rounders and India have spin-bowling all-rounders. Thus, Raju believes Virat Kohli’s men needed to have a fast-bowling all-rounder like Hardik Pandya.

ICC WTC Final: Venkatapathy Raju Highlights An Area Where New Zealand Are Stronger Than India

“New Zealand have good all-rounders. Their batting looks strong. Kyle Jamieson is in very good form with the red ball, getting wickets against India, West Indies and Pakistan. Because of his height, he gets good bounce and also gives an extra boost as an all-rounder. New Zealand have good fast bowling all-rounders while India have good spinning all-rounders. This is where Hardik brings the balance overseas and will his absence will be felt,” Raju told Sportskeeda.

India have got a good pace bowling attack under helpful conditions: Venkatapathy Raju

Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.(Image-Twitter/Mohammed Shami)

Venkatapathy Raju lauded India’s bowling attack as they have got all types of bowlers, capable of exploiting conditions that come along their way. The Hyderabad-born former cricketer heaped praises on Ravindra Jadeja, who showcased his deadly all-round abilities in IPL 2021 for the Chennai Super Kings. Raju was also impressed by India’s bench strength, consisting of Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav.

“India have got a good pace bowling attack under helpful conditions helpful. They also have the experience with Ishant Sharma having 302 Test wickets, Md Shami with 180 Test wickets and Bumrah with 83. If the conditions are dry, India are well equipped with two genuine spinning all-rounders in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja came back after missing a major part of the Australia tour and showed in IPL that he was getting into rhythm with his deadly all-round abilities. Also, when you have Umesh Yadav and Md Siraj, who has done brilliantly, sitting out, this is the best combination India have,” he added.

Also Read: Vijay Bharadwaj Believes India’s Opening Pair Is A Worrying Factor Ahead Of The WTC Final