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Many cricketing experts believe that the Indian Premier League (IPL) early conclusion gives India a better chance to win the World Test Championship (WTC) at Southampton, England. The Championship will begin on June 18 between India and New Zeeland.
However, New Zealand's legendary cricketer Richard Hadlee and former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feel that the Kiwis have the edge over the men in blue. Both believe that the cold climate is favorable for the New Zealanders with seaming pitches compared to the Indians. According to Hadlee, it ultimately comes down to who adapts better and quickly to England's weather conditions.
Hadlee further added that the Duke ball would be an added advantage to the swing bowlers of both teams. Compared to Indians, the Kiwis are well served in the department with bowlers like Jamieson, Southee, and Boult. It will also be quite a challenge for both the team's batsmen in case the ball seams around off the pitch.
However, both Manjrekar and Hadlee refused to pick sides and call a winner stating that both the teams have an impressive batting and bowling line-up.
India and New Zealand finished at the top in the WTC points, with Australia and England being the close contenders. WTC being the first of its kind and held at a neutral ground where none of the teams will have a home advantage will make the test match even more interesting.
New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor believes that despite the Kiwis having the opportunity to play two test matches against England before the WTC, India has a fair chance of winning. While the Kiwis and England play the test matches, the Indian team will be quarantined in Southampton. For safety, the senior members of the Indian national cricket team will be quarantined in Mumbai for two weeks before flying to England in a chartered flight.
The inaugural WTC is held in Southampton's Hampshire Bowl to ensure a bio-safe international cricketing experience. For both teams, the venue offers world-class training and playing facilities. Furthermore, if the UK government plans to ease the lockdown measures related to COVID-19, it is possible that a limited number of fans can be allowed to attend the Test match.
Previously, the WTC final was to take place in the Lords, before shifting it to Hampshire Bowl for the impressive way of ECB delivering bio-safe international cricket events in 2020, despite the pandemic.