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India vs New Zealand World Test Championship Final starts today

SOUTHAMPTON: All that remains after a two-year battle are five days in the Rose Bowl stadium to crown the inaugural World Test champions. Since the beginning of the competition in 2019, both India and New Zealand have proven to be the best Test teams in the world, and the one-off test that begins today will reveal who is the No 1.

The match is scheduled to begin at 3 pm IST on Friday, June 18, however the toss has been delayed owing to rain at Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The BCCI has officially declared that there will be no play in the first session on Day 1 due to bad weather.

The World Test Championship is a significant event for the longer format of cricket because it instills the same spirit and excitement in players and cricket fans that the shorter formats – ODIs and T20s – do.

It will be a crucial encounter for both captains, as New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, who lost the 2019 ODI World Cup in a neck-and-neck battle, and India’s Virat Kohli, who has yet to win an ICC trophy as a captain.

Both teams have quality players who can lead their teams in any situation, and we have seen that over the course of this two-year journey. But it is fair to say that India has a slight upper hand in the spin bowling and all-rounder departments.

India has two world-class all-rounders, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who can provide a tight spin bowling attack. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s squad is without an experienced spinner and a top-tier all-rounder. However, the batting and bowling department of both the teams are equally strong.

WTC Final squads

India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha.

New Zealand: 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.

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