Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has given a slight edge to New Zealand over India for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final. The two sides are set to lock horns for the all-important clash from June 18 to June 22 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, England.
The Indian men’s cricket team is scheduled to play a Test match at a neutral venue after several decades. The squad members have already started to quarantine in Mumbai before leaving for the UK for the WTC Final and five-match Test series against England.
In a video uploaded on his Facebook page, Aakash Chopra gave this response to the question that ‘Will the Kane Williamson-led side start as favourites given that the conditions at the Ageas Bowl are similar to ones in New Zealand’. The cricketer-turned-commentator asserted that he’s not ruling out India but it is 55-45 in favour of the Blackcaps.
“Don’t rule India out but it is 55-45 in favour of New Zealand. Although they are No.2 in the Test rankings and play well at home, when we talk about Southampton, they can play slightly better than us in these conditions in the first half of the English summer,” said Chopra.
‘There could be problems in Southampton’: Chopra
The 43-year old highlighted that the current Indian team wasn’t able to beat New Zealand at their home in 2019 as well. Moreover, the Kiwis are scheduled to play a two-match Test series against England before the major ICC event. Chopra reckoned that it would give a slight advantage to New Zealand as they’ll be able to better assessed the conditions.
“They [New Zealand] would have already played two Tests there. So, there is a slight difference. The heart is Indian and will say that we will defeat them but we are not able to go to New Zealand and defeat them. It’s a fact, we didn’t defeat them now as well. The team which won in Australia had lost in New Zealand while it was almost a full-strength side in New Zealand. There could be problems in Southampton as well,” said Chopra.