‘They’d definitely hold an edge’ – Salman Butt predicts the team with an upper hand in WTC final
The WTC final between India and New Zealand will take place in June.
Updated - May 24, 2021 12:44 pm
India and New Zealand are gearing up to lock horns in the ultimate showdown of Test cricket, the ICC World Test Championship final. The summit clash takes place at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton and will get underway on June 18. While the encounter is still nearly a month away, many cricket experts have made predictions about team combinations, conditions, and the result. Now, Salman Butt has also joined the bandwagon.
In a video posted on his YouTube channel, a fan asked the former Pakistan captain about what could prove to be the difference between the World No.1 Test side (India) and the World No.2 side (NZ). In reply, Butt said that the English conditions and the track would largely determine the outcome of the game. The southpaw also opined that the team with better technique application will have the upper hand.
Adapting English conditions will be the key: Salman Butt
“I think the application of technique (could decide the result) if the conditions are truly English. If the English weather plays its part and there is off-the-pitch seam movement, then it will show which team has stronger basics and which team has better technique application,” said Butt.
Notably, New Zealand will meet hosts England in two Test matches before locking horns with India in the WTC final. On the contrary, Virat Kohli and Co. will serve a 14-day quarantine after flying to England on June 2. Hence, they won’t have much time to get into the groove. Highlighting the same, Butt said that the Kiwis will have the momentum.
“Since the match is in June and since New Zealand would be better prepared for the English conditions (due to the two-Tests series against England before the WTC final), they would definitely hold an edge. New Zealand would have the momentum because of continuity in Test cricket as they would go (into the final) on the back of two matches. Whereas, India (without any match practice), would be waiting for them in the finals,” opined Butt.
Speaking of India’s chances, the southpaw commented that India’ll have the upper hand if the pitch assists spinners. “The last time Pakistan played England in Southampton, there was a lot of spin on the wicket. And India have some quality spinners as well. So, if there is as much spin this time, India will have the upper hand,” he added.
Apart from these points, Butt asserted that there is not much difference between the two teams as both combinations look strong. Hence, the side who plays better on the required day will walk away with the title.