WTC Final: Tim Paine backs India to defeat New Zealand ‘pretty comfortably’

Australia have lost two home Test series against India under Tim Paine’s leadership

Tim Paine Australia
Tim Paine. (Photo by PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images)
Gaurav Tripathi

Jr. Statistician

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India and New Zealand would be busy making strategies and finalizing their best combination, with the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final being just around the corner. The summit clash will get underway on June 18 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.  Both these sides have been phenomenal in red-ball cricket lately, and the cricket world is expecting a fascinating contest. With the encounter holding such tremendous significance, many players and experts have picked their favourites for the clash.

Australian Test captain Tim Paine is the latest one to join the bandwagon. In an interaction, the wicketkeeper-batsman was asked to pick the winners of the WTC final, and he didn’t have any hesitation in naming India. Paine even said that Virat Kohli’s men would walk away with an easy win if they play anyway near their best.

Tim Paine backs India to clinch WTC title

“My prediction is India will win pretty comfortably if they play anyway near their best,” said Paine in a video shared by Notably, Australia have lost two home Test series against India under Paine’s leadership. Hence, the wicket-keeper is well versed with the potential of the Indian team, and he subsequently sees them clinching the trophy in Southampton.

India have certainly been on a roll in Test cricket and would be raring to get their hands on the prestigious title. However, defeating the Blackcaps won’t be a bread and butter task for them. The conditions in England are pretty similar to that of New Zealand. Hence, adapting to the conditions won’t be a massive challenge for the Kiwis. Moreover, they’ll head into the finals on the back of a 1-0 Test series win over hosts England.

Not to forget, India had lost just one series in the inaugural World Test Championship cycle, and that was against New Zealand. Kane Williamson’s thrashed Team India 2-0 at home in 2020. Hence, Virat Kohli and the team management must put their best foot forward to beat the Blackcaps. To get the hold of the conditions, the Indian team sweated it out in an intra-squad practice match, and it would be interesting to see what combination they’ll name in the final.