New Zealand is currently locked up in battle against England at the home of cricket, the Lord’s cricket stadium. Even though the top teams are taking part in this two-match Test series, the focus primarily continues to remain on the World Test Championship (WTC) final, which starts 13 days later. As Virat Kohli’s Team India begins preparation to take on Kane Williamson’s Black Caps, former India cricketer Saba Karim has made an interesting observation. (FULL WTC COVERAGE)
Karim remarked that the Kiwis middle order is looking “extremely fragile” and that it Kohli and Co. could benefit from it during the WTC final. The comments come after New Zealand, from 288/3 at one point, lost four wickets for just six runs in the first innings of the ongoing first Test at Lord’s. From 294/7, they were eventually bowled out for 378, courtesy of a late blitz from No.11 Neil Wagner (25 off 21 balls) and Devon Conway getting to his double hundred.
While speaking on India News, Karim further stated that New Zealand’s batting seems overly reliant on skipper Kane Williamson.
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“Both the teams have had problems. The New Zealand middle order is looking extremely fragile. Kane Williamson is a very big player. Every team feels they can get New Zealand all out quickly once they dismiss him,” said Karim.
The former India wicket-keeper also commented that all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme’s inclusion on the side is making the middle-order look weak.
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“I was a little surprised with the combination New Zealand fielded in this match. They have played Colin de Grandhomme as a fifth bowler apart from three pacers and a spinner. Because of that their middle order is looking quite weak,” added Karim.
After Day 3, which was washed out due to rain, England 111/2 after 43 overs. Captain Joe Root (42 not out) and opener Rory Burns (unbeaten on 59) continue will resume on Day 4.