Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir feels that New Zealand will have a slight advantage over India in the World Test Championship final as they have already played two Test matches in England. The former left-handed batsman also stressed that there is no substitute to match practice. India and New Zealand are set to lock horns in the World Test Championship final at the South Bowl Cricket Stadium in Southampton, England from today (June 18).
While the Virat Kohli-led Indian side has played few intra-squad matches in England, New Zealand recently played a two-match Test series against England. New Zealand won the series 1-0 after defeating England with ease by 8 wickets in the 2nd Test. The England vs New Zealand 1st Test ended in a draw. Gautam Gambhir feels that New Zealand’s victory against England in the Test series will give them a slight advantage against India.
New Zealand Will Be Better Prepared For WTC Final: Gautam Gambhir
While speaking to Aaj Tak, Gambhir said that New Zealand will be better prepared for the final as they have already played two Test matches in England. Gambhir also mentioned that it is difficult to predict the favourites in the one-off final.
“It is difficult to predict the favourites in the one-off final. But I feel New Zealand will have a slight advantage because they have played two Test matches in England, and most importantly, they have won it. You can play as many intra-squad matches, but there is no substitute to match practice. As a result, New Zealand will be better prepared for the WTC final”, the 39-year-old said.
Gautam Gambhir also asserted that India has a strong bowling line-up that can trouble any team at any surface.
“I have always believed that it is bowlers who win you the Test matches. To win a Test match, you need to take 20 wickets, and I think the current Indian bowling line-up can trouble any team at any surface. The depth in Indian bowling attack is immense,” Gambhir further said.
India qualified for World Test Championship final after finishing on the top spot in the points table with a Point of Percentage (PCT) of 72.2. On the other hand, New Zealand finished on the 2nd spot in the final standings with a PCT of 70.0. During ICC World Test Championship, India played 17 Test matches during 6 bilateral series. They won 12 games and lost 4, while 1 ended in a draw.
On the other hand, New Zealand played 11 matches during 5 bilateral series. They won 7 matches and lost 4. Now, the team that wins the final will be the ultimate winner of the ICC World Test Championship. In a case of a draw, both the teams will be declared joint winners of the tournament.