Former England skipper Sir Alastair Cook has put his money on New Zealand to win the inaugural World Test Championship final against India as he believes the Black Caps are two matches ahead of India in terms of sharpness. Meanwhile, former England women’s cricketer Isa Guha has backed India.
On the eve of the inaugural WTC final to be played between India and New Zealand in Southampton, former England skipper Sir Alastair Cook has backed the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand to win the elusive trophy.
New Zealand recently outclassed England to comfortably win the two-match Test series 1-0 and Cook, like every other expert, believes that the Kiwis are two matches ahead of India and will go into the game with sharpness following their triumph over England.
“New Zealand are going to win. They’re two matches further into match-sharpness after the series win against England – they’re used to playing under pressure and in English conditions,” Cook told BBC.
Cook hoped for the Kiwis to include Mumbai-born New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who picked four wickets in the final Test in Birmingham that New Zealand won by eight wickets. But Patel’s selection will force Williamson to drop one of his fast bowlers, and the former England skipper reckoned that Williamson will have a tough call to make.
"The only thing they’ve got to deal with is the selection question – and getting the balance of the side right. I hope they go in with Ajaz Patel, the left-arm spinner. But that means one of their big four seam bowlers – Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner or Matt Henry – who have done such a good job for them, isn’t going to play,” Cook mentioned.
On the other hand, former English cricketer Isa Guha has lended her support to Virat Kohli’s men and has stated that India’s all-round strength and depth in talent makes them the favourites.
“I’m going to go for India. They have got tremendous depth in their squad, the big guns are back and they are a quality outfit under the leadership of Virat Kohli,” Guha asserted
“They’ve got an unbelievable top six -Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant are a world-beating line-up and they’ve got pace bowlers to back it up. They have a wonderful bowling attack, probably the best in the history of Indian cricket,” Guha added.