Ahead of the WTC final, former Indian cricketer Saba Karim has termed New Zealand's middle-order as one of their biggest vulnerabilities going into the epic encounter. He also didn't like New Zealand's selection for the first Test against England and said he was surprised by the team's combination.
Both India and New Zealand have exceptional bowling attacks and if a seaming track is dished out in the World Test Championship finale, the pacers can rule the roost. However, there are concerns around the batting of both sides, especially New Zealand, who are overly dependent on their skipper Kane Williamson. Their middle-order is quite vulnerable, something which came to the fore in the ongoing Test against England too, when New Zealand suffered a mini-collapse and went from 288-3 to 294/7 and if not for Devon Conway, they wouldn't have even reached 378 in their first innings.
Former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Saba Karim has stated that New Zealand are over-reliant on Kane Williamson and their middle-order looks very vulnerable.
"Both the teams have had problems. The New Zealand middle order is looking extremely fragile. Kane Williamson is a very big player. Every team feels they can get New Zealand all out quickly once they dismiss him," Karim told India News, reported HT.
Karim, who played a solitary Test and 34 ODIs for India, wasn't too impressed with New Zealand's combination against England in the first Test as well.
"I was a little surprised with the combination New Zealand fielded in this match. They have played Colin de Grandhomme as a fifth bowler apart from three pacers and a spinner. Because of that their middle order is looking quite weak," added Karim.
India and New Zealand, two sides that finished on the top of the World Test Championship points table, will meet each other in the inaugural WTC finale in Southampton from June 18, after which India will lock horns with England in the five-match Test series.