Sat, 19 Jun 2021

Southampton [UK], June 10 (ANI): Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has highlighted the number of challenges the Virat Kohli-led side will face during the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

India and New Zealand will lock horns in the finals of the WTC at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, starting from June 18.

While Trent Boult and Tim Southee remain a challenge for right-handers, Agarkar feels facing Kyle Jamieson will pose altogether a different threat for the Team India's batsmen due to his height.

"It has certainly got a lot of variety. I mean it is because you look at someone like Jamieson who is a tall guy and will pose a different challenge. Boult and Southee both will bowl, one delivery coming into you, one delivery going away from you, as a right-hander," Agarkar said on Star Sports show Game Plan.

"And then Wagner, when nothing is happening, and you know, everything seems flat, he comes and does something and has been doing it on a regular basis. So the challenges are a bit different," he added.

The former India pacer also said conditions in England are more likely to favour New Zealand as the Kohli-led side has not had any Test cricket in recent time away from home.

"Also what works in their favor is the condition, because you are playing in England, it is almost like what you get in New Zealand. So that makes it a little bit easier with that Dukes ball which does swing around," said Agarkar"So the challenges are a lot. More so because India has not had any Test cricket in recent time, not a Test cricket away from home since the Australia tour.

"Australian conditions are completely different. So that's the biggest challenge. And that's why I feel the preparations got to be the key," he added.

Agarkar also pointed out what has been Team India's strength during the past two years of the WTC cycle. The former India pacer threw light on the instances where the team came out with flying colours despite missing out on big names.

"Look at Australia (series), they (India) lost that first Test, bowled out at what 36 -- losing the host of your first team players, whether it's your best batsman in the team, Virat Kohli, or your best bowler in the team, Mohammad Shami," said Agarkar"By the end of the series, you had a Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Mohammad Siraj bowling for you, against a full-strength Australian team and you still managed to find a way to win in those situations.

"So, the depth in that team -- even though there was not a lot of experience -- the guys that came in had enough belief that they could turn up. That's been India's strength," he added.

Agarkar said Team India has always found out ways to emerge victorious even in crunch situations.

"There have been some tricky situations. Apart from those two Tests in New Zealand, in general, if you look at India's records in recent times, they've always competed, if not won and found ways to win with different players, which has been their strength," he said. (ANI)

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