“Both the teams are good, but I think India will start as favourites because of the way the Indian team has played - not only over the last couple of years but over a period of time.
“They have embraced the challenges and have overcome whatever obstacles they faced - as recently as the Australia series - and there’s a lot of talent and depth in this Indian line-up. But having said that, since it’s a one-off match, I feel whichever team bats well in the first innings will hold the ace,” Laxman told Sportstar.
The team is in Southampton and is under quarantine in the stadium premises. On the other hand, Kiwi side led by Kane Williamson is playing a Test series against England, with the visitors holding the upper hand in the first Test at Lord’s.
“Well, theoretically, that’s an advantage for New Zealand, because whenever you play any Test match in overseas conditions, you at least would like to play one - if not two - (practice) matches before the main match. There’s no doubt it helps you to get acclimatized to the conditions. That’s always been the norm for so many years.
“Especially for the batsmen, it will take time to get used to the new conditions. So, theoretically, New Zealand has the advantage."
India has sent a 20-member squad for the tour of England and after the completion of the final against NZ, India will play a five-match series against England.