Monty Panesar feels both India and New Zealand stand a good chance of winning the WTC final. The excitement to ICC World Test Championship final (WTC) has hit sky-high with former cricketers and experts choosing their favourites among India and New Zealand.
While some feel India is slight favourites, others feel the Kiwis stand a good chance due to their pace bowling attack. England spinner Monty Panesar has a rather interesting take on the battle.
Monty Panesar: Ravi Shastri Has Installed Self Belief In Indian Team
Known for his straight comments off the field, cricketer-turned commenter Monty Panesar has lavished praise on Team India’s head coach Ravi Shastri who, he feels, has played a big part in taking India to the finals of WTC. The former England spinner also stated that although Virat Kohli is the leader on the field, it is charismatic Ravi Shastri needs to be lauded for instilling a ruthless mentality within the team.
“It is Ravi Shastri who has built a self-belief in this Indian cricket team. What they achieved in Australia after the infamous ’36’ in Adelaide is quite a miracle. They won the series even though their charismatic captain Virat Kohli didn’t play the rest of the series, and India kept losing players to injury,” Panesar added, As reported in NDTV Sports.
Monty Panesar also stated that India’s historic triumph Down Under earlier this year, was due to the 59-year-old’s handling of the team when regular skipper Virat Kohli left midway through the series for personal reasons. Monty Panesar also believes that Ravi Shastri has managed his young troops well by being a father figure and a motivator.
“It was Shastri who got the job done for India against Australia that too in their backyard”, said the former cricketer.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari don’t get many chances in IPL which is a T20 tournament for they are Test specialists. Players like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, and T Natarajan played in the Test series after their excellent and consistent performances in IPL.
Pacer Mohammed Siraj excelled in IPL 2020 in limited opportunities by picking 11 wickets in 9 games averaging 21.45. He picked 6 scalps in 7 games in IPL 2021. He was a surprise inclusion in the Test squad but he justified selectors’ faith as he emerged as the 3rd highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps in 3 Tests averaging 29.54 and he even spearheaded Test bowling attack in 4th Test.
Opener Shubman Gill plays for Kolkata Knight Riders since debuting in 2018 and has scored 1071 runs in 48 matches averaging 30.6. He scored 440 runs in 14 IPL games in 2020 and 132 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021. He scored 259 runs in 3 Tests averaging 51.8 debuting against Australia at Melbourne.
Several Indian players were out with injury especially during the 4th Test but the bench showed their strength by delivering their best helping India breach Gabba fortress after 32 years and win the second successive series in Australia.
Monty Panesar Feels Both Teams Stand A Good Chance To Win The WTC Final
India now will battle out against New Zealand in the finale of the WTC which is set to begin on June 18 at Southampton. The former England spinner stated that both teams have a chance to win the title.
“If there will be an overcast condition then Kane Williamson-led New Zealand will have an upper edge, but at the same time the Ageas Bowl has a great drainage system, and if weather permits and the game went on to Day four or five, India would have a great chance to win the championship”, he said.
Kane Williamson has scored 7,115 runs from 83 Tests with the best score of 251. In fact, Kane Williamson has a better Test average than Indian counterpart skipper Virat Kohli (54.31). He owns 24 tons and four double-centuries.