As we inch closer to witness the inaugural World Test Championship final, everyone eagerly waits for India versus New Zealand clash to unfold. The Indians and Kiwis will lock horns in the final of what can be the most-anticipated end to a drawn-out tournament. The five-day-long match is set to begin on June 18 and will be hosted at The Rose Bowl stadium in Southampton.
Both the teams look well-equipped with strong batting and bowling combinations. Both teams possess a set of players who can turn the tables for their respective teams. The likes of captain Virat Kohli laced up with potent Cheteshwar Pujara can play their roles to perfection. While on the other side, the Kiwis batting ace Kane Williamson along with surprise element Kyle Jamieson can absorb the pressure and counter-attack brilliantly.
Today we take a look at the top 5 players from New Zealand to keep a watch out for.
The calm-minded Kiwi skipper has grown by leaps and bounds reaping on his potential. Kane Williamson will surely draw plenty of attention as the most dangerous batsman, No.1 Ranked in the ICC Test batsman rankings. Considering the bowling-friendly conditions, Kane will be the key to the Kiwi batting and look to spend long hours at the crease to set them up a good total.
Williamson has a solid technique against the moving ball and possesses the skill to outplay the likely threat posed by. Having played 9 matches in the WTC tournament, The kiwi skipper is New Zealand's leading scorer having scored 817 runs at a very good average of 58.35 including 3 centuries and one-half century.
Despite not having his name on the front page, Henry Nicholls is one of the most consistent performers for this New Zealand side. The Kiwi batsman comes up with a good knock for his side, more often than not. Fluent in stroke-making combined with a sound technique, the southpaw’s talent is an absolute threat to India’s chances.
So far, he appeared in 10 Test games for New Zealand in the WTC tournament, scoring 585 runs to his name at an average of 41.78 including 2 centuries and one-half century, With conditions close to that of home conditions, he will be a tough proposition for the opposition.
Neil Wagner hardly fails to perform in the longest version of the game. The flamboyant cricketer holds a very good work ethic and has put in the hard work to deliver goods for the team. He will head into the game taking confidence from his fine performances in Australia and against England. The short ball remains his ultimate weapon and will look to bounce out the Indian batting opposition.
Also possessing the ability to swing the ball both ways, the left-arm pace bowler has also added reverse swing to his arsenal. Having played 7 matches in the WTC tournament, he has picked up 32 wickets at an average of 22.50. Neil Wagner has got all the tricks in his bag to get the better of the Indian lineup.
Ever since he made his debut against India at home last year, Kyle Jamieson’s rapid rise has been a treat for many. Standing at 6’8”, Jamieson has troubled the likes of Virat Kohli among others. The right-arm bowler is one of the tallest fast bowlers in the game. And like for most people who send a cricket ball down from such heights, The kiwi bowler is known for getting awkward bounce.
Having played 6 matches in the WTC tournament, Kyle Jamieson’s all career test representation was in these six matches. Having picked up 36 wickets at an average of 13.27 including 4 five-wicket hauls and one four-wicket haul. With the pitch offering support for fast bowlers with pace and swing, Kyle Jamieson possesses the x-factor for the Kiwi team.
Daryl Mitchell was called into the Kiwi’s Test side in late 2019 as a replacement for Colin de Grandhomme who was injured. He impressed in his first outing making an increasingly assured 73 and bowling with impressive control. Although primarily a middle-order batsman, the 30-year-old had developed his seam bowling over previous seasons.
Having very little experience, He has played only 4 Test matches in his career, of which three of them have come in the WTC tournament. Impressing with the bat, he has scored over 173 runs which included a century holding a stunning average of 76.50.
Just weeks left for the grand finale, the New Zealand side will be gearing up for their test series against England in preparation for their finals against India, as the Indian camp make their way to England to their biosecure bubbles. Let us know in your comments who you think will be New Zealand’s most dangerous player.