Editorial: Tough Test

Team India will have their task cut out in the upcoming World Test Championship final against New Zealand, who boast of a potent pace attack ever ready to thrive in familiar English conditions.

The match is scheduled to be held in Southampton from 18-22 June. New Zealand pace attack has certainly got a lot of variety. India registered incredible come-from-behind Test series triumphs in both Australia and against England at home, stamping their authority as one of the world’s top sides at the moment.

Former pacer Agarkar said that he is aware that the conditions in Ageas Bowl are going to be more familiar for the New Zealanders. “Also what works in their favour is the condition, because you are playing in England, it is almost like what you get in New Zealand. So that makes it a little bit easier with that Duke ball which does swing around. So the challenges are a lot. More so because India has not had any Test cricket in recent time, not a Test cricket away from home since the Australia tour. Australian conditions are completely different. So that’s the biggest challenge. And that’s why I feel the preparations (have) got to be the key”.

Look at Australia (series), they (India) lost that first Test, bowled out for what 36 — losing the host of your first team players, whether it’s your best batsman in the team, Virat Kohli, your best bowler in the team, Mohammad Shami, those sort of losses. By the end of the series, you had a Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Mohammad Siraj bowling for you, against a full-strength Australian team and you still managed to find a way to win in those situations. So, the depth in that team — even though there was not a lot of experience — the guys that came in had enough belief that they could turn up. That’s been India’s strength, Agarkar added.

 

NT Bureau