Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has asserted that playing a two-match series against England serves the Kiwis well for the WTC finale. He also added that IPL's cancellation will give India a better chance to prepare for the coveted clash, with them getting time to get conditioned.
The month of June is going to be significant for New Zealand as they will play three Tests, two against England and the much-awaited clash against India in the World Test Championship finale. The England series provides them the perfect opportunity to get acclimatized to the English conditions and there can be nothing better than two high-intensity Tests ahead of the WTC finale, one of the most high-profile Tests this year.
Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor also admitted the side couldn't have got a better preparation for the clash against India than playing a Test series against hosts, England, and believes that it even provides them an advantage over the no. 1 Test side, India.
"I would be lying if you think there isn't some sort of thought about the WTC final but I couldn't think of a better preparation than playing two Tests against England. At the end of the day it's a neutral venue," Taylor told the media, reported TOI.
"Playing two Tests gives us a slight advantage but this Indian team has been number one for a long period of time and has had a lot of success over here," he added
Taylor also reckoned that India will benefit from the cancellation of the IPL as they will get more time for preparation ahead of the WTC finale. This year's IPL was cut short by increasing number of COVID cases in bubbles.
"For India, IPL finishing early under unfortunate circumstances has probably played into their hands a little.
"If IPL would have gone on they would have had a smaller preparation but now they will be a lot more conditioned, their bowlers will have their loads up," he added.
The 37-years-old, who continues to be one of the key batters for New Zealand in Tests and ODIs, also affirmed that he still thinks he can contribute well for the team.
"Age is just a number and as long as you're still enjoying it and feel like you're good enough and can contribute to the team on and off the field."
"I did have 35 in my mind because of the 2019 World Cup but I went there and felt I could still contribute, and therefore, I didn't think just because it was a World Cup it was time to retire, but no I don't have a number in mind," he added.
The two-match Test series between England and New Zealand starts from June 2 at the Lord's. The second and final Test of the series will be staged in Edgbaston before New Zealand move to Southampton to take on India in the WTC finale from June 18.