The ICC World Test Championship final will be played in Southampton from June 18-22. India and New Zealand will play the final to become the best in Tests. Despite different teams reigning in the format in the past, they were never awarded for being the best. The Test championship thus is an effort to complement one of the two teams for the brand of cricket they have played in the tournament. The final is a culmination of the Test championship that has been played over two years and against different oppositions.
India have won 10 out of the total of 14 games played. They have lost four games, two of which came against the Kiwis to kick off their campaign. India lost the other two matches against England (Chennai 2021) and Australia (Adelaide 2020).
Under Kane Williamson’s captaincy, The Kiwis have won six out of the nine games they have played in the ICC World Test Championship. They lost three games. Of the three defeats, two were against Australia and one was against Sri Lanka. The WTC final between India and New Zealand is a rematch in many ways of the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal.
World Test Championship Final: Virat Kohli vs Kane Williamson
The BCCI and the New Zealand cricket board both have named competitive squads for the big final. For New Zealand, Kane Williamson and BJ Watling return for the World Test Championship final after missing out on the second Test against England.
For India, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin are both part of the squad along with five pacers. Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Md Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj form the five-man pace attack for Team India. Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Hanuma Vihari, Shardul Thakur are not a part of the 18-member squad for the Indian team.
Both the teams have had good preparations in the build-up to the big final. While the Kiwis beat England in a two-Test match series, the Indian cricket team played an intra-squad match to get themselves accustomed to the playing conditions. Meanwhile, both the teams have enough depth in the squads that have been picked. Also, there is enough variety in the bowling attack to have a competitive final.
Pitch & Weather Conditions For World Test Championship Final
The pitch conditions have also been briefed to both teams ahead of the final. It is expected to have enough pace, carry and bounce to keep the pacers interested.
As far as the weather is concerned, the rain threat is looming large on the WTC final. All 5 days are expected to have some rain and a wet outfield with a lot of moisture in the environment expected, several rain delays can occur and the temperature will be around 21-25°C.
ICC WTC Final Squads
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Umesh Yadav
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young