The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final is less than a month away, and the predictions for the tournament’s winner have started.
Former England captain, Michael Vaughan, known for his blunt comments on social media, is now in the news for his prediction of the winner of the first WTC.
The final is scheduled to take place on June 18 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton between India and New Zealand.
India would be eyeing revenge of the ICC World Cup 2019 semi-final, where they lost to the Black Caps by 18 runs. Besides the World Cup loss, Virat Kohli & Co. suffered a whitewash in the two-Test series during the New Zealand tour last year.
Kane Williamson’s men are lined up to face England in a two-match Test series before going into the WTC final.
Vaughan, speaking to Spark Sport, has picked New Zealand as favourites to win the summit clash.
“New Zealand (will win). English conditions, the Duke ball, and India on the back of a busy schedule… they’ll arrive pretty much a week before and go straight into it, [and] New Zealand have two test matches, you could argue warmups against England to get them prepared for the final. So it’s quite an obvious one for me,” stated Vaughan.
Cricketer-turned commentator stressed that the current New Zealand squad is the best in their history. He further asserted that Williamson’s captaincy is appreciable, and under him, the team has started to play better high-class cricket.
“It’s not difficult, you haven’t had many great teams. You’ve had great players, you go back to the 80s, Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe were up there with the greatest to have ever played test match cricket. As a team, Brendon McCullum’s team were exciting and vibrant but I never felt they were consistent because they let the opposition in by playing so aggressively.
“Under Kane Williamson you’ve started to play high class, disciplined test match cricket over long periods, and real quality teams do it over day one to five. And it takes until the end of day five to wear a team down to get that win, this is what this New Zealand side can do,” the 46-year-old added.
The Indian players have to serve a quarantine period in Mumbai before boarding their flight to London. In England, they have to spend ten days again in isolation before starting their preparation for the finals. On the other hand, the New Zealand squad have already reached the United Kingdom for their upcoming Test series against the hosts.