India and New Zealand will play the inaugural World Test Championship final on June 18 at the Hagley Oval in Southampton. India and New Zealand are the best two Test sides in the world in terms of ICC rankings and the contest between is expected to be an exciting one. There are several match-winners in the team with the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kyle Jamieson, Rohit Sharma, Tom Latham, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Ross Taylor. Both teams are led by talismanic captains in Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson.
However, there is still one player that the Indian team will miss in the WTC final. Former India left-arm spinner and national selector S Venkatapathy Raju has highlighted that the absence of a fast-bowling all-rounder like Hardik Pandya will be felt in the all-important WTC final.
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“New Zealand have good all-rounders. Their batting looks strong. Kyle Jamieson is in very good form with the red ball, getting wickets against India, West Indies and Pakistan. Because of his height, he gets good bounce and also gives an extra boost as an all-rounder. New Zealand have good fast bowling all-rounders while India have good spinning all-rounders. This is where Hardik brings the balance overseas and will his absence will be felt,” Raju told Sportskeeda.
He also stated that India have covered all their bases with the amount of talent that is at their disposal currently.
“India have got a good pace bowling attack under helpful conditions helpful. They also have the experience with Ishant Sharma having 302 Test wickets, Md Shami with 180 Test wickets and Bumrah with 83. If the conditions are dry, India are well equipped with two genuine spinning all-rounders in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja came back after missing a major part of the Australia tour and showed in IPL that he was getting into rhythm with his deadly all-round abilities. Also, when you have Umesh Yadav and Md Siraj, who has done brilliantly, sitting out, this is the best combination India have.”