Team India will soon depart for England to compete in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, followed by a five-match red-ball series against the hosts. The Black Caps, on the other hand, will face the England in two Test matches in their own backyard before facing India in the WTC final.
The cricket fraternity are split on who should win the inaugural WTC duel. While former England captain Michael Vaughan previously stated that New Zealand would have an advantage because they would be able to put their skills to the test in the two red ball matches against the hosts, former England off-spinner Monty Panesar believes that the game could swing either way depending on how New Zealand performs.
Meanwhile, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar stated that the Kiwis may be at a disadvantage when facing India because their players may have been injured in the two Test matches against England. Gavaskar went on to say that a loss to England could lower their confidence.
“The pessimists are suggesting that playing two Tests before the WTC finals will be a huge plus for the Kiwis as they will be match ready and better acclimatized to the conditions. The flip side of playing those two Tests is that New Zealand could get beaten and thus be low on morale when they take on India and there could be some injuries and niggles to some of their key players which can happen in early June in England,” Gavaskar wrote in The Telegraph.
Talking about Indian’s recent victory against Australia and England, the 71-year-old remarked that the subcontinental team knew how to turn adversity into an advantage.
“The other factor that will work in the Indian team’s favor is that they will be fresh and raring to go and that sheer energy and enthusiasm to be able to play the sport they love after a month’s gap will more than make up for any lack of match practice.
This is a team that has tasted success and that too in adverse circumstances, so any adversity will be looked upon as an opportunity to show they have the gumption to rise above it and conquer it,” Gavaskar added.
It Will Be An Indian Summer In England: Sunil Gavaskar
The batting legend further said that his country could also grab the series against England since they would get enough time between the grand event and the series against the hosts to play some practice games.
“The summer in England promises to be the golden summer of Indian cricket. After the WTC finals, there is a gap of about six weeks before the Test series starts against England and that should be enough for the team to play some practice games and tune-up for what England can hurl at them. It is foolish to try and predict the score but it looks like it will be an Indian summer in England,” Gavaskar asserted.