India and New Zealand will go head-to-head in the final of the World Test Championship from June 18 in Southampton. The two teams played the best brand of cricket to seal the top two spots in the league stages and set up a date in England.
India played 17 games and won 12 of them, which also included a famous comeback series win against Australia minus their captain in Virat Kohli and finished top of the pile. New Zealand came second with seven wins and four losses and a draw from 12 matches. India lost four games and drew one.
Kohli’s men had 520 points from six series with a point percentage of 72.2 while the Blackcaps had 420 points with a point percentage of 70. The rankings in the WTC were decided by a points percentage system. PCT = Points won by a team / Points contested * 100. Therefore, these two teams emerged on top in the span of two years — 2019 to 2021.
Along with the new points system, ICC also made a new change to the system and plating conditions. The final of the inaugural edition will also have a reserve day in store and in case of a tie, the teams will be crowned joint winners. But, who has the better chance of lifting the trophy?
India have a strong side in place for the WTC and are going into the final as the No.1 ranked team in the world and on the back of series wins in Australia and a thumping of England at home. India put on some dominating performances against the Englishmen at home and will be high on confidence with most batsmen in good form and the return of premier players.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will have a little advantage of condition going into the game. The second-placed team in the world also played some good cricket to qualify for the event and will now be confident of overcoming India to win their first major ICC trophy.
The likes of Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult can use the Dukes ball and England’s overcast conditions to fantastic effect and hurt the Indian batters, who have often been found wanting under the English conditions.
Another advantage for the Kiwis will be their series against England right before the WTC final. They will be much more used to the conditions than India, who will only arrive in England on June 3 and then have to undergo isolation. However, the duration of the same is yet to be disclosed.
Going by the current state of affairs and New Zealand’s familiarity with the conditions before the final, Kane Williamson‘s men will go into the game slightly ahead of their counterparts.
However, India should take some positives from the head-to-head record. India have played 59 Tests against New Zealand, winning 21 of them and losing just 12, with 26 of them ending in draws.
So, you may bet on the team you support, but we will keep sharing the updates to keep the excitement going.