WTC Final: Here's why New Zealand are yet to decide on their playing XI

WTC Final: Here’s why New Zealand are yet to decide on their playing XI

New Zealand are yet to throw light on their playing XI combination for the WTC Final.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

India is all set to lock horns with New Zealand in an all-important clash during World Test Championship (WTC) Final. Moving into the marquee event, India announced their playing XI and it came up with an expected set of players. However, there have been a lot of talks around why New Zealand haven’t decided their playing XI yet. In the same line, NZ coach Gary Stead stated that they haven’t actually yet decided on their playing XI.

If Stead is to be believed, the New Zealand team will decide upon their final set of players at the time of toss only. The decision might be taken after the results of the toss and hence, fans would have to wait till Kane Williamson himself walks up on the pitch for the toss event.

“It’s amazing the number of Indian people that want to know [our team] as well,” Stead said on Thursday. “We’re just putting that on hold until tomorrow until we get down there.”

Gary Stead on why New Zealand are yet to open their playing XI

“The greener the pitch, the more chance you’ll play pace bowlers. The browner the pitch or dusty the pitch is when you’re more likely to play spin bowlers or slower bowlers,” stated Stead as his reason as quoted by News18.

It has to be noted that India has made a place for themselves in the finale of the high-profile event on the back of excellent performances over the last two years. However, their only loss in the WTC cycle came against New Zealand in 2020. Stead also added that they are carefully observing the Southampton pitch and will take the decision as per its development till the moment of the toss. The combination of pacers or spinners in the XI largely revolves around it.

“There was a small green tinge on [the Southampton pitch] – it’s been interesting because we’ve been watching it over the last three days and it’s actually greened up over the last couple of days. They cut a bit of grass off it today but it’s still a light green colour,” added Stead.