As the dates for the final of the World Test Championship between India and New Zealand are getting closer, the eagerness of cricket fans is increasing. In this match to be played in Southampton from June 18, it is not clear about whether two spinners will get a place in Team India’s playing XI or whether Team India will go with one spinner. Team India’s star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has returned to the Test team and R Ashwin’s performance has been excellent in the recently played Test series. Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has suggested that India should include Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI along with three bowlers.
Hesson further said that playing two Test matches against England before the WTC final could become a workload management issue for New Zealand. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill have been opening the innings for India in the recent past and Hesson also feels that the Indian team management will not change it, but feels that Mayank Agarwal should be given a chance. Mayank had scored the most runs for India in the two-Test series in New Zealand last year. He was one of the four batsmen to score a half-century for India.
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Hesson said, “They will probably go with Rohit and Shubman, but I think Mayank’s name should be discussed. He has faced their attack in New Zealand and he has good experience playing Kiwi bowlers.” India have not got a special opportunity to practice before the WTC final to be held in Southampton from June 18 due to the ban related to Kovid-19. On the other hand, New Zealand’s team is playing a two-match series against England but Hesson did not want this “It (playing three consecutive Test matches) could be an issue. New Zealand will have to look at their bowling attack and therefore probably will play Trent Boult in this match (the second Test against England starting Thursday),” he added.
‘Match practice always pays off’
“This will give rest to other fast bowlers as each Test match is only four days apart. So workload management of other bowlers is a big issue,” he said. Regarding India’s preparations ahead of the final, Hesson said, “Match practice is always useful, but every ground is different. Southampton is unique in terms of ground and so match practice will definitely benefit.” He said, ‘But India has brought a big team and they can play matches only in the middle of the team, so I think it will make a lot of difference in the match.
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‘Both Ashwin and Jadeja got a chance in the playing XI’
The match will be played with duke balls, which provide more swing and movement, but Hesson feels that the role of spinners will also be important as the match progresses, so India will have to play Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja along with three fast bowlers. Should be placed in XI. In the case of New Zealand, he would prefer to have four fast bowlers along with Colin de Grandhomme or Mitchell Santner. Hesson said, “They (Ashwin and Jadeja) really give India a good balance. That means you have five key bowlers, so you can attack right-handed batsmen and left-handers equally. It should not be forgotten that there are five left-handed batsmen in the New Zealand team.
Hesson expects Rishabh Pant to bat at number six and be able to replicate his Australian performance. “He understands international cricket better now and is full of confidence. So he is able to play the way he wants to,” he added.
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