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New Zealand will have an edge over India in the WTC Final, believes Bharat Arun

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Bharat Arun believes that NZ will start as favorites

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New Zealand will have an edge over India in the WTC Final, believes Bharat Arun

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SportsCafe Desk

05/12/2021

India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun believes that it will be ‘advantage New Zealand’ in the WTC Final due to the match-practice they’ll have, and feels that it’ll be crucial for India to devise the right plans. Arun believes that it will be important for India to put all experience they have, to use.

The World Test Championship Final in Southampton next month will be a Final like no other as it’ll see two sides with contrasting preparation go toe-to-toe with each other. While New Zealand, who are expected to arrive in England shortly, will play a four-day warm-up match vs Somerset and two Tests versus England prior to the final, team India will enter the grand finale without any match practise, having to do with just training sessions. 

The Indian contingent is expected to fly to England on June 2, by which time the Kiwis would already have begun their Test series versus England. This is in stark contrast to how India prepared for the Australia tour, where the Test side arrived well in advance and played two warm-up matches prior to the commencement of the red-ball leg of the tour. 

According to India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun, India’s lack of preparation will give the Kiwis a headstart in the final. Arun feels that New Zealand playing two Tests in England will give them a ‘definite advantage’, and believes that it’ll be India’s responsibility to nullify this advantage by putting their experience to use.

“See, it is definitely an advantage for them...getting used to English conditions and things like that. but then we’ll have to recall (our past experience) in England...,” Sportstar quoted Arun as saying.

However, at the same time, Arun feels that watching New Zealand play two Tests against England will give team India a chance to analyze their opponents ahead of the coveted final. Off-field planning was key to India beating Australia Down Under four months ago, and Arun believes that the team will need to do the same before the WTC Final versus New Zealand.

“England is playing New Zealand before us. So that will give us a good insight into how the New Zealanders are playing in English conditions, and also how the English men are playing right now. The present form is extremely important for us to plan and the quarantine period in England would give us enough time to take into consideration all the factors and make plans accordingly.”

On the other hand, the team’s fielding coach, R Sridhar, reckoned that being under-prepared could work in India’s favour. Comparing being under-prepared to playing with an injury, Sridhar insisted that the lack of preparation could favour the visitors as it would ensure that they are mentally ready by the time the final beckons.

“It’s time to be mentally smart, we have a very experienced team going into going to the final. Each guy is capable of adapting to the situation. They have played against New Zealand and played in England. So, I think that experience will count and we will have to come to the fore, because we really can’t plan as to how many sessions we want because we only have to take what is given to us.

“Sometimes it can work in our favour as well, because that way you’re mentally more ready. It’s like playing with an injury sometimes when you’re injured, you tend to concentrate a little better. Sometimes when you’re a little under-prepared, you tend to focus more and maybe that will bring the best out of us as well, so that that is the kind of mindset we are going in with,” said Sridhar.

The WTC Final between India and New Zealand will be played at the Rose Bowl from June 18 to 22. 

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