Southampton: The final of the World Test Championship (WTC) is at the doorstep and cricket fans cannot keep calm. Today, people will witness the start of a historic clash in which Virat Kohli-led Team India will lock horns with Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
One side is Virat Kohli’s army and on the other side Kane Williamson’s stalwarts, with a prize of Rs 12 crore along with an ICC Test Championship Mace as a reward for the winner. Now it has to be seen which team gets the title in this historic event.
The last time these two teams met, New Zealand won 2-0 at home. The last time they met at an ICC event, the Black Caps knocked India out in the semi-finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. In fact, the last time India beat New Zealand at a men’s ICC event was in the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
At the end of the day, these are two quality teams, each having only lost one series in the WTC cycle and the match will be decided over five days of play rather than being determined by any history.
Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson. Ranked fourth and second respectively in ICC Test batting, Kohli and Williamson are firmly established among the greatest batsmen of their generation.
Kohli went into the match to score his first century in the format since 2019 and left an indelible mark. Though it has been somewhat underwhelming for the Indian captain, he has made a number of significant performances for the team in that time.
In Australia, his half-century at the Adelaide Oval was set to shape the match until an unfortunate run-out, while his 62-run knock against England in Chennai was crucial to turning the series. He averaged 59.3 and scored two centuries on his last Test tour of England and will hopefully go well in the final.
As captains, both Williamson and Kohli are supporters of aggressive, positive cricket and we can expect both to push for a win rather than a draw.
New Zealand top WTC run-scorers
Kane Williamson – 817 run at 58.35
Tom Latham – 680 at 40
Henry Nicholls – 586 at 41.78
Ind top WTC run-scorers
Ajinkya Rahane – 1095 at 43.80
Rohit Sharma – 1030 at 64.37
Virat Kohli – 877 at 43.85
NZ top WTC wicket-takers
Tim Southee – 51 wickets at 20.66
Kyle Jamieson – 36 at 13.27
Trent Boult – 34 at 29.29
Ind top WTC wicket-takers
Ravichandran Ashwin – 67 wickets at 20.88
Ishant Sharma – 36 at 17.33
Mohammed Shami – 36 at 19.77