Team India will compete with New Zealand in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final at Southampton from June 18 to 22. While India have been dominant in the WTC cycle, losing just one away series to the Blackcaps, New Zealand have also been consistent. They recently defeated England to topple Virat Kohli & Co. from the top position in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Rankings.
Thus, New Zealand have adjusted to the swinging conditions of the United Kingdom (UK). India, too, have played a three-day intra-squad match in which all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja smashed an unbeaten half-century.
Both the teams are looking in top-notch form, and the finale of the grand tournament is expected to be an equally balanced contest.
Experts speculate that India would play with two spinners, but there are still apprehensions over who could be the first choice tweaker.
Talking about the same, former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman has opined that the off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin would be his go-to spinner due to talismanic bowling during the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2020/21.
“Ashwin would be my first-choice spinner. The way he bowled in Australia, dominated the opposition’s best batsman in Steve Smith and consistently got him out, it was one of the main reasons why India went on to win that Test series,” Laxman was quoted as saying to Star Sports.
While Jadeja has performed well with the ball, Ashwin has taken over 200 wickets of left-handed batsmen. Therefore, it makes him more favourable to bowling to the Kiwis since they have many left-hand batters in their line-up.
Moreover, Ashwin was the second-highest wicket-taker for his side (12) in the 2020/21 Australia tour, whereas he bagged the highest wickets (32) in the home series against England.