The final of the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship is looming large. India and New Zealand, the top two Test teams in the world, will face off in a mouth-watering clash at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
The teams have had contrasting paths to the final. New Zealand, on one hand, have crushed visiting teams at home and sailed through with barely a scratch. On the other hand, India were battered and bruised before making a comeback for the ages at the Gabba. Later on, they defeated England 3-1 at home to finish at the top of the points table.
Now that we’re just 14 days away from the magical finale, we take a look at the 5 players who can have the biggest impact in ICC World Test Championship final:
1) Rishabh Pant
This goes without saying but the journey that the young Delhiite has been through is nothing short of a fairytale. Mocked and put down for his keeping skills and inconsistency with the bat, Rishabh Pant scripted India’s historic comeback in the series down under against Australia.
Ever since that performance, he has been put on a high pedestal by the fans, and rightly so. The unorthodox shot-maker, known for his antics behind the stump, has an aggregate of 1358 in 33 innings in Tests with an average in the high 40’s.
He has the ability to change the game in a session. Pant’s pyrotechnics on the field are unmatched when he’s in full flow. The southpaw finished the 4-Test series against England as the third-highest run-getter with 270 runs, including a hundred in the final Test.
“He is a genuine match-winner and he has responded. He has worked like hell over the last 3-4 months and the results are showing,” coach Ravi Shastri had said after the England series.