ICC WTC Finals – India vs New Zealand: After landing in England on Thursday, Virat Kohli’s Indian team players have just started training outdoors. But their opponents for the World Test Championship finals New Zealand have already gained momentum after their performance against England in the first test. New Zealand vs England first test ended in a draw but Kiwi team stayed on top in the rain marred test and in a process have also sent a warning to the Indian team.
Be it Devon Conway’s double ton or Tim Southee’s brilliant spell and excellent use of the conditions – Kane Williamson’s team has showed it will not be easy for Virat Kohli’s team India to overpower them.
ICC WTC Finals – India vs New Zealand – 3 Reasons why Virat Kohli’s team India will find it difficult to beat New Zealand in WTC Finals
New Batting Sensation – Devon Conway
The first of the three warnings that the Blackcaps sent to Team India was, the Debutant Devon Conway. A record double-century from Devon Conway helped New Zealand to a strong first-innings. New Zealand were guided to a strong total on the back of Devon Conway’s sensational 200 (347). The 200 on debut, that too in the English conditions was indeed special but what was even more special was the way he played against Broad and Anderson. The ball was doing the trick at the early stage of the game and he took his time to get settled down. This will boost his confidence ahead of the WTC final where he will be facing India’s Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma.
Virat Kohli must be scratching his head to find a plan to take Conway’s wicket.
Veteran Tim Southee & Kyle Jamieson showed great form
Tim Southee led the Kiwi attack by taking six big wickets in the first innings of the Lord’s Test against England. The right-arm pacer removed Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Dan Lawrence and James Bracey in the first session of the Day 4 play.
Southee is known to swing the ball in the air and the England conditions will just make his job easier. The 32-year-old has experience of 78 Tests and has 308 wickets under his belt.
Southee will definately be the biggest headache for Team India in the WTC Final. His ability to pitch the ball up and force the batsman to drive will provide a mouth-watering contest.
His fellow partners Kyle Jamieson also showed some form and can pose difficulties for Indian line-up.
Lack of Match Practice for India and their first match jinx
While Kiwis battled out against England, Indian team was just completing their hotel quarantine. According to Indian veteran Dilip Vengsarkar – ‘not acclimatizing to the English conditions and lack of match practice can cost India dearly’
– While Kiwis are battle hardened by playing the test against England, India last played a Test match in March. For over four months, India’s Test bound players have not got the much-needed match practice.
– But bigger problem is India’s record in opening test in England which clearly shows the importance of acclimatization to the English conditions.
India’s jinx of not winning the first Test of England tour
India is yet to win their opening Test match in 35 years, handing an edge to New Zealand.
Yes, you read it right, the Indian cricket team hasn’t won their opening test match in England in the last 35 years. In fact, India’s last win in an opening Test in England came back in 1986. Dilip Vengsarkar’s century and Kapil Dev’s four-wicket haul in the 2nd innings handed India a five-wicket win at Lord’s. Since then, India have never won an opening Test.
In the last five-Test series in England (2002-2018), India have lost three opening matches and the other two have ended in draws
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