Former New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum is expecting a pretty close affair between India and New Zealand in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC). The two teams will be locking horns with each other from June 18 to June 22 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Brendon McCullum also opined that New Zealand will have a slender advantage going into the final, as they will be getting sufficient game time in English conditions in the lead-up to the much-anticipated WTC final. Currently, the Indian team along with teh players and the support staff is quarantining in Mumbai and they will be arriving in England on June 3 following and will be in managed isolation, meaning they will be allowed to train gradually after the necessary negative RT-PCR tests in Southampton.
Notably, the Indian cricketers were in hard quarantine and were gradually allowed to work out while being indoors in Mumbai. On the other hand, Kane Williamson and his men have had their outdoor training sessions after quarantine in England. New Zealand and England will be facing each other in a 2-match Test series, starting June 2 before the WTC final.
Talking about the WTC final, during a chat with Sports Today, Brendon McCullum said, “I think 60-40 in favor of New Zealand. It’s going to be close. The match practice that New Zealand is going to have led into the final could just title it in their way. Just as New Zealand respects India, as a fan, I will respect India, knowing how good they are and the fighting spirit they have. I think we are in for a ripping World Test Championship final. May the best team win and the best game.”
India is likely to be allowed to play an intra-squad practice game before facing New Zealand in the World Test Championship final. The World No 1 Test team will be traveling with a 20-man squad and as many as 4 reserve players to England where they will play 5 Tests against the hosts in August-September apart from the WTC final.