Changes Can Be Made In WTC Final Format Instead Of It Being A One-off Match, Says Tim Southee
Tim Southee
Tim Southee

Changes Can Be Made In WTC Final Format Instead Of It Being A One-off Match, Says Tim Southee

Tim Southee, who has scalped 309 wickets in 78 Tests, said the team has prepared well for the marquee Test against India. New Zealand pacer Tim Southee on Wednesday said changes can be made to the format of the World Test Championship final going ahead, instead of it being a one-off match.

Earlier this month, India head coach Ravi Shastri said that the WTC final should be decided in a best-of-three match series, which he feels would have been a fitting finale after two and a half years of cricket.

Tim Southee is impressed with India's strong batting line-up. (Getty Images)
Tim Southee is impressed with India’s strong batting line-up. (Getty Images)

Tim Southee: Maybe ICC Can Look At One-Off Final And Then Potentially Make Changes

Deciding the World Test Championship (WTC) in a best-of-three final is not a realistic idea in a crowded calendar, the governing International Cricket Council (ICC) said. India takes on New Zealand in the final at the Ageas Bowl after the two teams finished on the first two spots on the WTC table. During the current period of the WTC, India played 6 series and won 12 matches while New Zealand played 5 series and won 7 matches.

“At the start of the two-year cycle, we knew that it was going to be a one-off final. Maybe it’s something they can look at going forward and then potentially make changes,” Southee said during a virtual press conference.

“It was made clear two years ago at the start of the cycle, what was required to win the championship. It’s been great to put context around the Test game, to have the two-year cycle. There have already been adjustments going forward to the next cycle. So, it’ll be an evolving thing,” he added.

India vs New Zealand
India vs New Zealand
“We’ve come very close in the last couple. We know that it’s going to be a tough week. Having a number of the guys that have been very close to winning an ICC event on the side, we have the experience of playing in the finals.”
In Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, and Rohit Sharma, India possess one of the strongest batting line-ups in modern-day cricket, and New Zealand is aware of it, said fast bowler Tim Southee ahead of the World Test Championship final beginning on Friday in Southampton.

Tim Southee: New Zealand Prepared Well For The WTC Final

Tim Southee, who has scalped 309 wickets in 78 Tests, said the team has prepared well for the marquee Test against India, starting in Southampton from Friday.

“We’ve played two Tests against England, which obviously has been pretty good for us. It’s been a great preparation leading up to this Test final good number of guys that have had good performances throughout those two Test matches. A couple of good days training today and tomorrow. And as you know, we’re all looking forward to what is the ultimate goal of this tour.”

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

Aware that the Indian side has a potent batting line-up with the likes of opener Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli in their ranks, the pacer said Kiwi bowlers will have to be on top of their games to succeed.

“Rohit is a tremendous player in all three formats. He’s personally a guy I like watching bat. He can take the game away from the opposition. But I know as a bowling group that it’s a dangerous batting lineup throughout. For he’s only one of many, many very good batters in this lineup and we know we’re gonna have to be on top of our game.”

Tim Southee said New Zealand will be viewing footage of not just the experienced batsmen in Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ajinkya Rahane in particular but also the youngsters like flamboyant keeper Rishabh Pant and talented Shubman Gill.

“It’s an exciting batting lineup, a mix of experienced guys and a couple of young guys who are coming to play with that freedom and the excitement that they have. Nowadays, there’s plenty of footage out. So, we will discuss footage and then come up with plans which will hopefully work.”

Tim Southee, who was rested from the second Test against England after picking up a six-wicket haul in the first Test match at Lord’s, reserved high praise for India opener Rohit Sharma, whom he termed as the most watchable one in the Indian unit. New Zealand is the only team to beat India in the WTC but Tim Southee said that shouldn’t be taken into consideration for the final.


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