Cricketing world received a setback with the indefinite postponement of IPL 2021. The fans are now eagerly waiting for the WTC finals. India and New Zealand rightfully are the contenders to win the inaugural WTC.
The all-important India-New Zealand World Test Championship (WTC) final will be played as scheduled at the Hampshire Bowl, Southampton, England from June 18-22.
Key Indian players:
The pitch at the Hampshire Bowl traditionally offers turn on day 4 and day 5. India will be tempted to play both spinners (Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin) in the match. India will have to decide wisely on the XI who can take on New Zealand in the finals.
The omission of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya means Shardul Thakur stands a chance to play as a fast-bowling allrounder. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj should ideally be India’s pace spearheads in the game.
Not only Rohit Sharma but Shubman Gill too will be key to dent Neil Wagner’s short ball tactic. Rishabh Pant too can singlehandedly change the game in a single session.
New Zealand’s X-factor players:
New Zealand’s X-factor is their pace bowling. Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Kyle Jamieson are one of the best pace quartets going around in the world. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will shoulder the batting responsibility.
Their batting is over reliant on Williamson. If the conditions don’t favour swing, then New Zealand may find it difficult to contain the Indian batsmen.
Probable Playing XI for both teams:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand XI:
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner
New Zealand start favourites owing to the conditions but write off India at your own risk.
IPL 2021 will be played outside India. There are chances of hosting it in either UAE or England or even Sri Lanka. September window is the time when IPL second half will be played.
The sixth edition of PSL was set to start on June 1 in Karachi. But PCB have decided to host the tournament in UAE owing to the Covid-19 scare. The dates are yet to be finalised.
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to happen in India but there are high chances of the tournament being played in UAE.
In these uncertain times, cricket has surely taken a backseat but fans will surely be inspired and entertained once cricketing action resumes.