If conditions at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton favour the pacers, former England spinner Monty Panesar believes New Zealand will have the advantage over India in the World Test Championship final. It’s rainy and cold in the UK right now, and if it remains that way for the WTC final, which starts on June 18, Panesar believes New Zealand will have an advantage. “There is a lot of rain in the area right now. If the weather continues to be this good, the Indian and New Zealand seamen will engage in a fascinating fight “Panesar spoke to PTI over the phone from the United Kingdom.
“New Zealand batsmen are even better at playing the running ball than Indian batsmen. So, it’ll be fun to see how the Indian batsmen fare against the New Zealand batsmen if the ball swings and moves during the Test match “Added he.
However, if the weather in Southampton is warm and bright, the conditions would be better for India, according to the former left-arm spinner.
As the WTC is expected to be a good advertisement for the five-day game, Panesar also wants the ICC to plan a neutral wicket rather than a green top.
“They have got a great draining system at the Ageas Bowl. Normally you see nice good hot weather. Hopefully, the game will go on for the whole four to five days,” he said.
“On that basis, you are looking at two spinners (R Ashwin and R Jadeja) from India and three seamers. If the weather is clear then India become favourites. So it depends a lot on the conditions.”
Indian team will arrive in the UK on June 2 and will get a little over 10 days to train. New Zealand, on the other hand, are playing two Tests against England before the WTC final and many see it as a big advantage but Panesar reckons it can be a double-edged sword.
“If New Zealand does well in the next two Test matches, the momentum will be in their favour when they face India. However, if England defeats them, they will lose faith and it will be a good time for India to visit “he said
“Normally, James Anderson and Stuart Broad are very successful at this time of year, but England has selected a B team (for the NZ series) due to the absence of some main players, so we’ll see.”
Despite not having enough time to prepare, Panesar believes India has gained the confidence to succeed in any condition after their victory in Australia.
“If you told me the WTC final was in a week, I’d pick India because they’ve played far tougher cricket. The team is likely to believe that it will prevail in any case, while New Zealand has played decent cricket but hasn’t had the tough victories that India has “Panesar remarked.
“Winning from very challenging, difficult conditions is what really distinguishes a top team.”
In the absence of Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Jonny Bairstow, India’s depth was shown on their tour of Australia, and England’s talent pool will be put to the test in the upcoming series against New Zealand.
“You’ve seen the breadth of Indian cricket in Australia, and now it’s time to see the depth of English cricket. What are the team’s chances if Joe Root fails to score? If Broad and Anderson go for runs, who would step up?” Panesar remarked.
“As a result, there are many issues that must be addressed.”
Following the WTC final, India and England will play five Tests, with Panesar predicting a 5-0 victory for the tourists.
“The series will take place in August, when the weather will be pleasant and the wickets will be dry. I would have told England if it had been any other time. India thrives at that time of year “Panesar threw in his two cents.
The last time India won a Test series in England was in 2007.