The five-day test finals are just around the corner as fans will be excited to see India v New Zealand, whilst the Kiwis aren’t often underdogs in cricket any more the huge population and fandom that India brings with cricket being the national sport there’s certainly plenty of support for both. With that in mind, going into the finals India are pulling ahead as the favourites with punter odds at betminded.com, but over a longer series these could certainly change in a shorter period of time. There are plenty of conditions that could look to change how the game is played over the weekend too.
First off to take into consideration are the grounds and the play conditions over the five days, taking place in the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, it is a ground that has seen plenty of test competition in the past hosting six tests over the past decade. Groundskeeping will be important here though, it has been a very hot couple of weeks in the UK with a mini-heatwave drying out the pitch which will certainly favour the Indian spinners, but with a colder wet front on the way which could turn the pitch cool and damp, it could certainly look to swing in favour of the Kiwis if a weekend of cooler weather does come around.
Next is the preparation going in, India stuck to intra-squad games to prepare for the event which did throw some fans off but seemed to pay off with some dominant performances from the younger players – New Zealand instead used the two-test series against England to prepare for the event and emerged as the clear winners. With both teams looking in good form, from preparation stats alone it could certainly be eithers to take. From the preparation the style of play could tell a lot about what may happen over the weekend too – the Kiwis stick to more established, old-school Test cricket, staying calm and really sticking to the book. India are much more reliant on their big talent, playing exciting more individual cricket – individual players can certainly change the entire course of the game and India are stacked on talent, but the teamwork brought by New Zealand, steering clear of just individual talent and having a well-rounded roster, could be enough to pull them over the edge.
With the first bowl coming on Friday June 18th early in the day, both teams will certainly pull out all of the stops for their chance to win the $1.6 million in prize money, as well as all of the glory for winning, and there will certainly be plenty of glory to be found over the five-days of play scheduled.