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WTC final preview: Prediction, probable XI and pitch conditions for World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand

WTC final preview
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The World Test Championship final begins on June 18 with India taking on New Zealand for the ultimate prize in Test cricket – here’s a look at the WTC final preview with probable XI for each team and pitch conditions.

WTC final: Preview

New Zealand could not have been better prepared for the marquee clash. The two-match Test series against England that they won 1-0 saw them try out as many as 17 players in their squad to keep them all match ready for the big game. The strong bowling attack has been of paramount importance in New Zealand’s surge to the finals and they will look to bank on them again in the finals.

India, on the other hand, have been light on preparations and but have dismissed the notion that they are short on game time ahead of the big Test. Their last Test series against England was a few months ago and most players have featured only in the shorter formats since. An intra-squad match simulation was all the practice they could gain ahead of the finale.

You can check the full squads of the two teams here.

Full details of the telecast (TV and live streaming) can be found here.

WTC final: Probable XI

India (confirmed XI): Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult

Pitch conditions

The Ageas Bowl has seen six Test matches since 2011. Traditionally a wicket that has aided spin too, the Southampton wicket was last used for the County Championship game between Leicestershire and Hampshire in mid-May. The game saw just three overs of spin used after days were washed out by rain. With both teams forfeiting an innings each, the quick bowlers thrived on the damp wicket.

Head groundsman Simon Lee recently commented that he would look to produce a pitch with “pace, bounce and carry” for the finals. However, the weather conditions might make that harder as he himself admitted.


The weather is not ideal for the WTC final, but ICC have added a sixth day to compensate for it. It’s unlikely that either team would need more than four days of complete action to force a result. As such, a draw seems far-fetched unless the weather affects the game massively. New Zealand, by virtue of their preparation and bowling strength, are favourites to script a memorable triumph, with their recent Test series win against a very similar Indian side evidence of which way the battle could swing.

You can check the preview and predicted playing XIs for the final here. The TV and live streaming details of the final can be found here.

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