"Battle between India's top-order and NZ pacers could decide the outcome of WTC final"

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06 Jun 2021 | 04:51 AM
authorcricket.com staff

"Battle between India's top-order and NZ pacers could decide the outcome of WTC final"

Mike Hesson also spoke Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson's different styles of captaincy

Former New Zealand head coach Mike Hesson is looking forward to the battle between India's top-order and the Black Caps fast bowlers ahead of the World Test Championship final, which will be played in Southampton from June 18. The 46-year-old feels both sides are "worthy" to lift the title.

New Zealand are currently involved in a two-Test series against England, while the Indian players too have started training at the Rose Bowl. Both sides have an outstanding bowling line-up and the batsmen could struggle big time in the finale. 

The likes of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson are top-class seamers and their battle against India's top-order - Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli - is going to be exciting.

"I am keen to see how India's top-order fares against the swinging ball. The ball does a bit in Southampton and as the cross breeze comes into play -- it can be a challenge for the batsmen. How the Indian top-order plays the NZ pacers could decide the outcome of the WTC final," Hesson told Times of India.

"They are even. The fact that it's being played in a neutral venue makes the WTC final an even contest. I think both sides are going to be at their strongest which is great. Assuming there are no injuries in the next couple of weeks - both sides will be in full strength and we are in for an exciting Test match.

"We (New Zealand) are in our third final after the 2015 ODI World Cup followed by the 2019 WC in England. The Black Caps are a top-quality side who have played quality cricket for a long period of time. It's a huge moment for both sides. Whoever wins the WTC final will be worthy champions."

Hesson has worked closely with both Kohli and Kane Williamson. He is the Director of Cricket Operations at Royal Challengers Bangalore, which is led by Kohli. Talking about both captains, Hesson said: "Both are very good leaders and yes, both are different in styles of captaincy. The players want to follow which is a great sign for any leader.

"Kane is more of a slow-burn in the sense that he likes to put pressure over a period of time. Virat, on the other hand, is constantly looking for ways to put his side in the driver's seat. The WTC final will be a test of captaincy for both Kane and Virat. 

"As the wicket changes from day to day, it will be interesting to see how both Kane and Virat make those little tweaks in their strategies to stay ahead of the game."

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India vs New ZealandICC World Test Championship, 2021IndiaNew ZealandVirat KohliKane WilliamsonMike Hesson

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