Ahead of the ICC World Test Championship final which is scheduled to be played from June 18 to 22 in Southampton all eyes are stuck on the Indian team as it's all set to feel the heat against New Zealand. India finished at the top of the World Test championship table and is a massive achievement to get into the finals. The Indian squad for the final was announced a month back and most of the players from the test series against England were retained. No wonder, the squad has put in lots of effort to get to the stage they are in and undoubtedly they deserve to be in the final.
Indian squad features a strong batting order as well as a formidable pace battery who have delivered on foreign land. On the other side, New Zealand also reflects a strong fleet of cricketers who have the ability to inspire Kiwis to a win in the WTC Final.
Players like Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, and Kane Williamson have been consistent performers in the five-day format for the Kiwis. Keeping this in mind, captain Virat Kohli and team will have to be at the top of their game to prevent another loss in the final of WTC.
Here's a look at 3 New Zealand players India should be wary of in the WTC Final 2021:
Undoubtedly, captain of the BlackCaps, Kane Williamson is the master for his brilliant stroke play. Not to be denied, Kane has become the backbone of New Zealand’s batting order. Notably, the 30-year-old has directed the team through numerous tough situations and has smelled scents of success. Williamson has witnessed success against the moving ball in England. Additionally, being ranked No.1 in Tests, the skipper has arrived at the WTC Final on the back of a successful 2021 home season. His consistency in Test cricket may put the Indian team on the backfoot in the WTC Final 2021.
However, an elbow injury ruled out New Zealand captain Kane Williamson from the second Test against England starting on June 10 at Edgbaston. Left-handed opening batsman Tom Latham will lead New Zealand in the second Test against England in Williamson's absence. It is yet to be ascertained now that will the Kiwi captain face India or not
Over the years, Trent Boult has improved his bowling standards in International cricket. Boult has always thrown challenge to the Indian batting including their last meeting in the Test series in 2020. The swing-bowler bagged 11 wickets in the 2-match series and exploited the Indian batting order’s weakness in extensive manner.
Taking advantage of the weather of England, Trent may pose challenge to the Indian team. The Indian top-order including the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma will have their task cut out to survive against the Kiwi player.
Mitchell Santner has played 23 Tests so far, taking 41 wickets and scoring 766 runs including a century. Apart from this, he has scored 60 wickets and 335 runs in 52 T20 Internationals. Santner has got a chance in 6 matches so far in the IPL, in which he has taken 6 wickets and scored 32 runs.
Mitchell Santner got the chance in 2015 after retiring from Daniel Vettori. Santner regularly appeared in the New Zealand team in limited-overs cricket, but he struggled to cement his place in red ball cricket.
Santner has said that he would like to take full advantage of this opportunity to make a blast against Team India in the ICC World Test Championship.