Will India beat New Zealand in the inaugural World Test Championship?

By Kersi Meher-Homji

The inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) starts this Friday between India and New Zealand at Southampton in England. It is a five day Test with a difference. The winner will decide the world champion in Test cricket.

India finished on top of the WTC ladder, going by the results of Test matches played by all Test playing nations in the last few years. The top three countries are India, New Zealand and Australia. Here is their record:

India played 17 Tests, won twelve, lost four with one drawn to secure 520 points. New Zealand played 11 Tests in this period, winning seven, losing four to secure 420 points. Australia played 14, won eight, lost four with two drawn to secure 332 points.

Thus India and New Zealand qualified to meet in the first ever WTC Final.

India defeating Australia 2-1 in the exciting series last year (her first Test series win against Australia in Australia) and then thrashing England 3-1 in India contributed largely to her finishing on the top of the table.

India’s 15-man squad for the Final in Southampton

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket keeper),  Ravichandra Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Wridhiman Saha (wk) and Mohammad Siraj.

On paper India has a strong all round team capable of defeating any country today. But lack of warm up matches in England is a big disadvantage for Kohli’s men. On the other hand, New Zealand has been playing in England for weeks climaxing with an 8 wicket win in the second Test at Birmingham to win the series 1-0.

Their opening batsman Devon Conway is in terrific form. In the first Test against England at Lords a fortnight ago he scored 200. It was his Test debut. If he was not run out off the last ball in the first innings of the first Test, he would have become the first batsman to carry his bat scoring a double century on Test debut. He was the last man out, run out.

India, if you want to win, get Conway out of your way! ”˜Bharat Army’ leaders now in England to support the Indian team were interviewed on Foxtel last night.

After this Test, India has a five Test series against England.  

Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=16558