Team India’s much-awaited World Test Championship (WTC) final clash against New Zealand promises to be a mouth-watering contest. Starting from 18 June, both teams will slog it out over the course of the next five-six days at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, in an attempt to get their hands on the WTC winners mace- the coveted memorabilia of dominance in the red-ball format.
All-important WTC final to be played from 18-22 June at Southampton
Clearly, with such phenomenally high stakes, the scope for making errors becomes almost negligible. In fact, over on a recent press conference, India captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri stressed the need to select their best playing XI for the all-important match against New Zealand.
“It’s like football, we have to keep our standards high,” Kohli told reporters in his interview. “We have worked hard for finals and nobody can take that away from us. There was no doubt we were gonna be featuring in the WTC Final.”
However, Kohli made more than the inspired statements during his interview; it was a trivial, side-conversation he had going on with the Indian coach that proved to be one of the more interesting takeaways from the media briefing. Before the press conference started, Kohli and Shastri were heard having an interesting discussion about the team composition against New Zealand for the WTC final.
Kohli unintentionally reveals Indian bowlers game-plan against New Zealand batters
Neither Kohli nor Shastri could realize that they were live and their conversations were being recorded. Well, at least not until someone conveniently pointed it out to them. But in a candid chat with Shastri, Kohli could be heard talking about India’s bowling plan against the Kiwis, especially their left-handed batsmen.
“Hum inko round the wicket dalwayenge. Left-handers hai inpe, Lala, Siraj sabko start se hi laga denge-” Kohli commented to Shastri; something which the latter seemingly agreed with and acknowledged by replying, “Hmm”.
So as per Kohli’s own words, it seems likely that India will play at least one of, or both Mohammed Siraj or Mohammed Shami (Lala) in the WTC final. And apparently, Indian bowlers will have their tasks cut out against the many southpaw batters in the Kiwi lineup.
— DeepaK_17 (@79foreveR_) June 2, 2021
It remains to be seen what actually happens on the occasion of the WTC final, and whether team India will go ahead with the lineup they alluded to during this press conference. But they will certainly want to do some groundwork on analyzing New Zealand’s performances; especially now, as they compete against England in a 2-match test series.
Additionally, the team will be wary of underestimating some of New Zealand’s budding stars like Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Kyle Jamieson, and Devon Conway. Conway, in fact, scored a brilliant hundred at the Lords Cricket Ground in his debut match last night.