The veteran Indian spinner, R Ashwin reckons that New Zealand will be having an advantage while coming into the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final having played in England just before the important clash, which is scheduled to be commencing on June 18 in Southampton. New Zealand is currently locking horns with England in a 2-match Test series as part of their preparations for the WTC Final whereas the Indian team will be facing the Black Caps without any warm-up matches.
Talking about the same in a recent video on BCCI.tv, R Ashwin said, “I expect a very-well planned and a well-knit New Zealand team to come at us, and obviously, having played two Tests in England they will definitely come in with an advantage so we have to adapt quickly.”
He further added, “It has to be the most exciting part of playing Test cricket, in all these years it’s (WTC Final) never happened, we have never played a team on a neutral venue but I think going forward, the World Test Championship could add context to two teams playing away from their home, bringing the ebbs and flows of the game.”
Journey to the #WTC21 Final 👌
Preparations to play in England 💪
Putting the best foot forward 👍
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 11, 2021
India qualified for the WTC Final as the most successful team in the competition, as they won 12 out of the 17 Tests they played in the competition period between August 2019 and March 2021. They won 5 out of the 6 Test series they played, including the historic Border-Gavaskar series win in 2020/21 in Australia.
New Zealand on the other hand, won 7 out of the 11 Tests and clinched 3 series wins out of 5 to reach the final.
Elaborating on his point, R Ashwin went on to add: “Test cricket is the ultimate form that we have, it is also the greatest test of a cricketer’s ability, mental space, and everything else. For a long time, cricketers wanted this sort of a space, some context to Test cricket. I am looking forward to the final actually.”