The wait is over. India is all set to face New Zealand in the first-ever ICC World Test Championship final. The WTC Final starts at 3.00 pm., tomorrow. Therefore we bring you the team news, head to head stats and Dream11 team prediction for the match. Moreover, for more fantasy sports content check out our special category "Fantasy Sports".
India has been the best team in tests since 2015. Virat Kohli lead India has won more matches than any other team in the world. The recent series wins against Australia and England has made the bench stronger. Moreover, both the series wins were after the loss in the first test of the series. Perhaps, the Australian series was named the best series of the century by ICC. Hence, you can imagine how the memories of the series will rub off their shoulder when they take the field on Thursday.
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Ajinkya Rahane has been their best batsman in the WTC. While Rohit Sharma has been the best opener in the world in last two year. Rishbah Pant also scored the most runs for India in 2021.
India's recent form last five matches – W L W W W
On the other hand, New Zealand also has been an impressive side in the test format. Willamson has lead the Blackcaps really well though his own performances in away tests has been a bit issue. They were the first team to qualify for the WTC Final. In fact, they were nearly unbeaten in their home soil with their solid pace bowling line up.
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Tom Latham has been great in the top of the order for them. Boult and Southee also has been world-class with the new ball. The bit worry would be their middle order. Though they have done fine for themselves as well with Conway, Nichols and Taylor in the line up.
New Zealand's recent form last five matches – W W W L W
Match – 59
India Won – 21
New Zealand Won – 12
Draw – 26
Tie/No Result – 0
In neutral venues in ICC Tournaments –
1.NZ Won (1975 WC)
2.NZ Won (1979 WC)
3.NZ Won (1999 WC)
4.NZ Won (2000 CT)
5.IND Won (2003 WC)
6.NZ Won (2007 T20WC)
7.NZ Won (2019 WC)
So, though India has a better record in tests in overall. But, the Blackcaps has a better record against India in ICC Tournaments in neutral venues.
Team India did announce their 15 men squad before the New Zealand team to ensure their superiority and confidence. The good news from the team is that there is no injury concern for the team. The injured players have came back and looked good in their intra-squad practice match.
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Subhman Gill is all set to open with Rohit Sharma, who has been the best opener in the WTC. Pujara will look to play as many as ball he can. He will be hungry for runs like always. Captain Virat will be under spotlight as he has not got any centuries in international cricket for long now. A player like him will be just few runs away from coming back to his best.
The concern for the team in the WTC preview is the team selection. The question will be the combination of the team. Will India go for a extra bowler or will have the extra batsman in Hanuma Vihari will be the main question.
However, the man of the hour will be Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja. Both the left-handers has been India's best player batting down the order and scoring runs at will.
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If India goes with five bowlers including Jadeja, three pacers will be playing as there is less chance of Ashwin sitting out. In that case, Ashwin, Ishant, Shami and Bumrah will be their main bowlers with Jadeja. Though there are some talks about India might look to play Siraj in place of Shami or Ishant. However, it might not be worthy enough to experiment in the final match.
India's Probable XI: 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. Shubman Gill, 3. Cheteshwar Pujara, 4. Virat Kohli, 5. Ajinkya Rahane, 6. Rishabh Pant, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. R Ashwin, 9. Mohammed Shami, 10. Ishant Sharma, 11. Jasprit Bumrah
For New Zealand the big news is that, Santner is out with a finger injury. Meanwhile, Kane Williamson will come after an injury concern he faced during England test last week.
Otherwise, everything is more than great for them. Tom Latham and Henry Nichols have been in top form. Along with Kane, they have been their best batters in the World Test Championship. Ross Taylor will also be a key factor for the team. Ross will be playing his 14th ICC Tournament for the New Zealand team. Therefore, you can bank on him on experience.
However, the biggest strength of the team is their bowling line-up. Tim Southee is in red hot form and will be rearing to take on Indian batters in the final. Southee's partnership with Trent Boult with the new ball has been the best since their debut.
But the Kyle Jamieson factor can be the difference between the teams. Jamieson has been a great find for the Blackcaps. His contribution with the bat down the order has added value to the team. The tall bowler might get more bounce and seam movement in English conditions which can cause more trouble for the Indian batters.
New Zealand's Probable XI: 1. Devon Conway, 2. Tom Latham, 3. Kane Williamson, 4. Ross Taylor, 5. Henry Nicholls, 6. BJ Watling, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Kyle Jamieson, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Matt Henry, 11. Trent Boult