The final of the World Test Championship will see the two best Test teams of recent times, India and New Zealand, go against each other at Southampton from June 18 to June 22. As the match is being conducted at a neutral venue, none of the teams are at a major advantage or a disadvantage. Though many believe New Zealand’s ongoing two-match Test series against England may provide them an edge during the WTC final.
The Test fixtures against England will help the Kiwis in getting accustomed to the weather and pitch conditions in England. However, India’s veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik dismissed such ideas saying that New Zealand playing against England won’t make any difference. Karthik is of the view that India has a superb batting line-up and have a good chance of winning the summit clash if they manage to get some partnerships.
Karthik backed young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant to score big in the WTC final. Pant is in the form of his life in the purest format of the game. He was the wrecker-in-chief for India in the four-match Test series against Australia and England. Karthik reckoned that Pant instills fear among the opposition.
“He lends flexibility to the team and the management has the opportunity to play the extra batsman or the bowler as per requirement. And what is most important is the way he instills fear in the mind of opposition. Pant has the effect that Virender Sehwag or Adam Gilchrist used to have on rivals,” Karthik told the Times of India.
Pant hit two half-centuries during India’s tour Down Under. He made sure India won the Test series against Australia by shining with the bat at Gabba. Pant was equally good when India played against England at home. He hit two half-centuries, which included a 92, and followed it up with a classy century in the fourth Test ensuring India clinched the series 3-1.
Karthik was sure Pant will be ready for the English conditions. “He can take the game away from them. Pant has been to England before, has a century at The Oval, and knows how to deal with the conditions,” he added.