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16 Nov 2020
Cricket experts and former players of the world are divided on who among New Zealand and India are favourites to lift the first edition of the World Test Championship trophy. For some, the depth in the Virat Kohli-led team is too much to not overcome the challenge from Kane Williamson-led New Zealand, while for some the English conditions dominate the narrative and they are predicting Indian batsmen will struggle against the Blackcaps bowling line up.
Former New Zealand captain Glenn Turner has said that whole of the Indian batting line up including the skipper Kohli will struggle if the conditions at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton will favour swing and seam bowling.
He said that the English conditions that resemble the conditions New Zealanders have accustomed to playing at home will be ‘pivotal’ in deciding whether India or New Zealand will have an upper hand. However, he referred to India’s tour of New Zealand last year to affirm his point that Indian batting will come up short against Blackcaps bowling.
"I don't wish to speculate on whether Kohli's reflexes have deteriorated. But if the pitch and overall conditions favour seam and swing, he is also likely to struggle along with others as was demonstrated in New Zealand," Turner was quoted as saying by The Telegraph newspaper.
"Once again, conditions are going to be pivotal. I think it is true to say that the home conditions, where batsmen are brought up, play a significant part in the technique and skills of a player… English conditions are generally closer to those in New Zealand.
"Although it seems that in more recent times, pitches in India can assist seam bowling, they still can't be compared to conditions in New Zealand. This was exposed when India last toured New Zealand."
India had lost the two-match Test series on the tour of New Zealand early last year. None of the Indian batsmen could manage to score a Test hundred on pitches that supported seam bowling.