After long time India plays NewZealand in Test and that too in conditions favouring fast bowlers. Rewind the clock to 14th July, 2019, World Cup final at Lord’s and the dismal treatment of New Zealand’s cricketers by the stars. If the same stars are on duty tomorrow, one cannot imagine them being so cruel again.
The World Test Championship final is the pinnacle of cricket and I hope that New Zealand and India light up cricket’s grand theatre for the next five days. Enduring highlight of this era has been fast bowling, and metamorphosis of India’s pace battery from scattered-gun specialists to thoroughbreds, has meant that India’s fabled batting line-up has taken a backseat.
In a one-game shootout, trimurti of Pujara, Kohli and Rahane, have a task on their hand to rediscover their big-match player status after going through the last 10 matches with a solitary century between them.
New Zealand, on the other hand, have the advantage of match practice and early acclimatisation. They are a team with great spirit and enthusiasm, equally unassuming in line with their skipper Williamson’s demeanor.
It is equally fitting that both the teams are contesting the finals, and the one who holds the nerve would come out trumps.Ideally, the match of this magnitude deserves to be played at the Coliseum of world Cricket, Lord’s or Wankhede or MCG. Unfortunately, these are not ideal times.
The Ageas Bowl in Southampton will not carry the same atmosphere as a full house at Lord’s, but be rest assured that if both the teams play to their potential, then the final chapter may well have some twists and turns.
Feature image by Prakash Parsekar