Eyes On Southampton As World Test Final Looms

Occasionally in the world of sport, there is a match up that commands the attention of more than just the most loyal of fans.

Its Ali v Foreman, Nadal v Djokovic, and, as of 11:00am, India v New Zealand will be added to the list of timeless sporting events.

Two power houses of the modern game, captained by generational players Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson, both teams will be aiming to take home the silverware from the inaugural World Test Championship Final, and so too confirm their place as the best cricket team in the world.

But, unlike in the boxing ring, there may be a third victor in Southampton next week. The weather.

There was always a risk that the weather would get in the way, it was hosted in England after all. However, not even hardened locals could have foreseen the forecast for Friday and beyond.

There are weather warnings in place for day 1 at the Ageas Bowl

The would be the anticlimax of all anticlimaxes, even if there is a day 6 reserved to complete the game if needed.

Assuming the forecast is false, or the teams somehow manage to play something which resembles a match between, what is to be expected?

Firstly, whatever the result, we can expect a very high quality of cricket from both teams, across all days. The quality of both teams is proven, with New Zealand coming off a first series win in England since 1999, and India having recently beaten both Australia and England successively in recent test series.

As is the way, both teams have pretty much every base covered, if they choose to play the squad. Spin? Ravi Ashwin and Ajaz Patel are there. Pace? Wagner and Bumrah are outstanding? Batting? Debutant Conway, Rohit Sharma, Taylor, Rishabh Pant; the list goes on.

Captains? Kohli and Williamson are outstanding on and off the field.


Virat Kohli will be looking to lead India to its first ICC trophy since 2013

The pitch should be a brilliant test wicket. One which favours the batsmen, but brings spin into the game in the later innings, rendering the toss important, but not the be all and end all.

A mouth watering match up, that's for sure.

The important question, however, is who will win?

A very difficult question, to answer, as you can imagine. Pound for pound, the excellence of India in every category is overwhelming, even for a team like New Zealand.

However, here at JT Cricket, we think that New Zealand, despite perhaps being outclassed player for player by India, will be victorious in Southampton.

Kane Williamson hoping to reverse Kiwi fortunes after their last ICC final. We all know how that ended…

They have had much better preparation than India, playing well in two tests in English conditions beforehand. As good as everyone in their squad too has had a successful run out, underlined by their unearthing of Devon Conway, who looks set to make waves on the test stage.

It will be close, but the preparation, and the level headed approach of Kane Wiliamson, will see them home against Kohli's India.

Either way, it will be a brilliant match. Let's just hope the rain stays away, eh?


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