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Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
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New Zealand Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue For 2021 T20I World Cup

New Zealand led by Kane Williamson will be a team to watch out for. The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand always enters the big ICC events with the tag of the underdog and does something stunning to earn praise from the cricket fans and experts. They have been consistently performing well for the last few years in limited-overs cricket.

The seventh edition of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is all set to begin on October 17 and the final of the tournament will take place on November 14. Notably, the tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and OMAN due to the Covid-19 scare in India. However, BCCI still holds hosting rights.

Bangladesh vs New Zealand
Bangladesh vs New Zealand. Image Credits: Twitter

New Zealand Reached The 2015 And 2019 ODI World Cup Finals And Was Crowned WTC 2021 Winners

New Zealand reached the finals of the 50-over World Cup in 2015 and 2019. Also in the longest form of the game, they have been performing exceptionally well. Recently, they participated in the finals of ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021 against Virat Kohli-led India and they won the match to be crowned the inaugural champions. New Zealand is placed in Group B of the tournament, alongside India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Notably, Team New Zealand won four back-to-back T20 international series heading into the T20I series against Bangladesh. However, they had a terrible run in the 5-match T20I series against the Bangla Tigers. In the first match, they got bowled out on 60 and lost the game by 7 wickets. Meanwhile, in the 2nd T20I, they lost the game by 4 runs. Overall they faced a T20I series loss against Bangladesh by 3-2.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

So far the Blackcaps haven’t won the ICC T20 World Cup trophy. However, looking at the team’s recent performance there is no doubt that they have full potential to win the T20 World Cup 2021. Also, new faces like Devon Conway and Kyle Jamieson are expected to play a huge role for Kiwis in the T20 World Cup 2021. Meanwhile, veterans like Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Martin Guptill will provide much-needed experience to the side.

New Zealand’s complete squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021:

T20 World Cup New Zealand Image Credit: ICC Twitter
T20 World Cup New Zealand Image Credit: ICC Twitter

Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).

Like England, New Zealand also does not have a good track record of the ICC T20 or ODI World Cups. Apart from the ICC Champions Trophy and inaugural WTC 2019-21, they have never won an ICC event. That is why the team is considered one of the unluckiest teams of the ICC cricket world cup history.

The group features an all-star bowling group – Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner, and Tim Southee alongside the likes of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, and Todd Astle. Seamer Adam Milne has been selected as the 16th man and will join the team for the tournament but can only be called upon to replace a player in the squad in the event of an injury.

New Zealand’s complete schedule for ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Tuesday, October 26, 2021: vs Pakistan, at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in Sharjah. (7:30 PM IST)

Sunday, October 31, 2021: vs India, at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in Dubai. (7:30 PM IST)

Wednesday, November 3, 2021: vs Qualifier (B1), at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, in Dubai. (3:30 PM IST)

Friday, November 5, 2021: vs Qualifier (A2), at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, in Sharjah. (3:30 PM IST)

Sunday, November 7, 2021: vs Afghanistan, at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi. (3:30 PM IST)

Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)
Shane Bond (BCCI.TV)
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Shane Bond All Set To Join New Zealand’s Coaching Staff For T20I World Cup 2021

Shane Bond, former New Zealand pacer was added as a fourth coach for the Kiwis for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and the following three-game T20I series against India.

The former fast bowler is no stranger to the team following a three-year tenure as bowling coach (2012-15) and helped out as recently as 2019 in a T20 series against England, along with stints leading New Zealand A. Hence, Shane Bond is familiar with the Black Caps set-up.

Shane Bond will assist the Black Caps at the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
Shane Bond will assist the Black Caps at the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Cup. MARTIN HUNTER/GETTY IMAGES

Shane Bond Hopefully Will Bring Some Tactical Insight For Being In The UAE As Mumbai Indian’s Bowling Coach: Gary Stead

Since stepping back as Sydney Thunder coach earlier this year, former pacer Shane Bond has been assisting the men’s winter training squads at Lincoln and also helped the White Ferns prepare for their tour of England.

The 46-year-old will next month resume his role as bowling coach with the Mumbai Indians as IPL 2021 restarts in the UAE, before linking up with the Kiwi T20 World Cup squad. Head coach Gary Stead said it was great to add someone of Shane Bond’s experience to the group.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead.
Black Caps coach Gary Stead ALEX DAVIDSON/GETTY IMAGES

“Shane’s been in our environment before and understands what we’re about. Being in the UAE (with the IPL) immediately prior to the world cup … he’ll hopefully bring some tactical insight into what’s been happening in the competition,” said Stead in an official release.

“He’ll be an extra set of hands especially around the bowlers, working with the spin and the pace bowlers and developing their plans in a tournament that moves pretty quick – so we need to be one step ahead of other teams,” he added.

New Zealand was the first team to confirm their 2021 T20I World Cup squad last week and will head into the tournament with tours of Bangladesh and Pakistan although without their IPL players. Gary Stead will also miss those two tours with Glenn Pocknall stepping in alongside assistants Graeme Aldridge and Thilan Samaraweera.

Gary Stead: Shane Bond Is Someone Who Always Adds Value

Gary Stead has utilised a fourth coach during past home summers such as Shane Bond’s stint in late 2019, but the role has also been employed for away tours to England and Sri Lanka as well as world events including the recent ICC ODI World Cup – where current batting coach Luke Ronchi was the fourth assistant.

“The fourth coach for me is an opportunity to bring in different voices to the environment and we’ve used it in a whole host of ways in the past. Shane is someone who always adds value and we’re delighted to have him on board,” said Stead.

Shane Bond will link up with New Zealand in the UAE Getty Images/ICC
Shane Bond will link up with New Zealand in the UAE Getty Images/ICC

Shane Bond played 18 Tests, 82 ODIs, and 20 T20Is for New Zealand in his playing days, enjoying plenty of success on the field despite persistent injuries. He will join Gary Stead, Shane Jurgensen, and Luke Ronchi as the coaching staff for the World Cup and India T20s.

Chris Cairns is a New Zealand cricket legend (Image: GETTY)
Chris Cairns is a New Zealand cricket legend (Image: GETTY)
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Chris Cairns Suffers An Aortic Dissection In Main Artery And Is In Sydney Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit

Chris Cairns, former New Zealand all-rounder is in an intensive care unit at a Sydney hospital after undergoing cardiovascular surgery following a major heart incident in Canberra last week. St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney said Chris Cairns, who was admitted on Tuesday, was in “a serious but stable condition” in intensive care.

His wife Melanie Cairns said the cricketer had surgery in Canberra after a “major medical event” late last week but the seriousness of his condition required him to be transferred to St Vincent’s for another operation.

Chris Cairns
Chris Cairns in Auckland. The former NZ star cricket player is in hospital in Sydney in a serious but stable condition after surgery. Photograph: Nigel Marple/Reuters

Chris Cairns Suffers An Aortic Dissection In Main Artery And Is In Intensive Care Unit In A Sydney Hospital

Chris Cairns has reportedly collapsed in Australia and is on life support. As per reports, he suffered a major medical emergency – an aortic dissection – in Canberra last week. This is when a tear occurs in the inner layer of the body’s main artery.

The Black Caps legend has reportedly undergone several operations while in hospital but has not responded to treatment as hoped. Chris Cairns will be transferred to a specialist hospital in Sydney soon.

“Chris’ family and friends are heartened by the respectful and warm manner in which this terrible news has been reported, and received by the public, both in New Zealand and around the world, and thanks to everyone for their warm wishes, prayers, and kind words,” she said in a statement on Wednesday.

New Zealand media outlet Newshub on Tuesday reported 51-year-old Chris Cairns had suffered an aortic dissection – a tear in the body’s main artery.

“We’re deeply concerned to hear of Chris Cairns’ medical emergency,” Cricket New Zealand boss David White said in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with his family in Aus and here in NZ. Chris is a much loved husband, father, and son – and remains one of our finest all-rounders. We hope he’s able to make a full recovery.”

Chris Cairns played 62 Tests, 215 One-Day Internationals, and two Twenty20 Internationals for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006. His father Lance Cairns also represented New Zealand in cricket.

Chris Cairns life support cricket legend medical emergency
Chris Cairns is on life support after suffering a medical emergency (Image: GETTY)

News of his health setback rocked New Zealand, where former teammates expressed sympathy for his family.

“It’s absolutely devastating. It’s the worst news you could possibly get,” former New Zealand teammate Chris Harris told local media.

In 62 Test matches, Chris Cairns has scored 3320 runs and scalped 218 wickets. Whereas in the ODIs he has chipped in 4950 runs and has picked up 201 wickets. He was named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the year in 2000 and is the son of former New Zealand all-rounder Lance Cairns. He went on to become a commentator with Sky Sport.

Chris Cairns Denied Any Wrongdoing After Allegations Of Match-Fixing In Defunct ICL In 2008

Chris Cairns has lived in Canberra for several years. After retiring from international cricket, he was the subject of allegations of match-fixing in India as captain of Chandigarh Lions in the defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL) in 2008. He denied any wrongdoing and fought several legal battles to clear his name, winning a libel case against former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi in 2012.

In 2015, he was cleared of perjury in relation to the libel case after being charged by Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service. Former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who testified against Chris Cairns during the perjury trial, said the cricket community was suffering along with Chris Cairns’s family. Former New Zealand cricketers Brendon McCullum and Lou Vincent both claimed Chris Cairns approached them about fixing matches.

“It’s a difficult subject to obviously talk about. We haven’t seen each other for quite a long time,” McCullum, a host on New Zealand radio station SENZ, said.
Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

“Our relationship is unimportant in the whole thing, the fact is that Chris is a father and also a son to Lance and (mother) Sue. Today my family and myself are thinking of those people who are suffering.”

Post his retirement, Chris Cairns worked in Dubai as a diamond merchant in 2010. In March 2012, Chris Cairns successfully sued former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi in a liberal case. However, on 14 September 2013, he was charged with perjury in England.

With the costs of legal proceedings hitting his family, Chris Cairns took up the job of cleaning bus shelters to make the ends meet. As a result, he is one of the few cricketers who went from stardom to poverty.

Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
Brisbane Test: India beat Australia by 3 wickets at Gabba to win series 2-1, retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy Image Source : AP IMAGE
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India’s Schedule For The Next World Test Championship Cycle Announced

India’s Schedule For The Next World Test Championship Cycle Announced as the ICC World Test Championship’s 2nd edition from 2021-2023 will begin with the 5-match Test series against England and end with the tour of Bangladesh. The first cycle of the ICC World Test Championship concluded with the Indian cricket team ending second best despite dominating the league stage of the competition.

Putting behind the disappointment of the defeat in the final against New Zealand, the Virat Kohli-led side is now gearing up for the second cycle of the ICC World Test Championship which begins for India with the 5-match Test series against England, starting August 04 at Trent Bridge.

 ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 Winners New Zealand
ICC World Test Championship 2019-21 Winners New Zealand Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

India Play England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, And Bangladesh In The ICC World Test Championship’s 2nd Edition

After the conclusion of the England series, Indian cricketers will keep themselves busy with the remainder of the Indian Premier League 2021 and the ICC T20 World Cup.

India’s second assignment in the Test Championship (2021-23) will be against defending champions New Zealand at home. The series is likely to take place after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup in November this year. Their third assignment will be when they lock horns with South Africa in December-January in the Rainbow nation before hosting Sri Lanka in a 3-match Test series.

Indian test team
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]
After a lengthy break from the longest format of the game, the team will then battle it out against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which will take place in the second half of 2022. The team’s second WTC campaign will conclude with a 2-match Test series against Bangladesh.

India’s WTC schedule 2021-23:

– India tour of England (5 Test matches)

  1. August 4-8: England vs India, First Test, Trent Bridge
  2. August 12-16: England vs India, Second Test, Lord’s
  3. August 25-29: England vs India, Third Test, Headingley
  4. September 2-6: England vs India, Fourth Test, Kennington Oval
  5. September 10-14: England vs India, Fifth Test, Old Trafford

– New Zealand tour of India (2 Test matches)

– India tour of South Africa (3 Test matches)

– Sri Lanka tour of India (3 Test matches)

– India tour of Bangladesh (2 Test matches)

 Virat Kohli-led India’s Aim Is To Finish The League Stage Among The Top 2 Sides

Virat Kohli & Co. would look to put in a similarly dominant performance in the 2nd phase of the Test Championship as they did in the first phase. With the initial aim being to finish the league stage among the top two sides, Virat Kohli would be hopeful of a WTC final series this time rather than a one-off contest, having publicly expressed the same after his team’s defeat to the Kiwis.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

The 32-year-old spoke about the need for a minimum of three-Test series in the future to decide the potential winners of the WTC Final. The next WTC Final will now be played in 2023 and Virat Kohli like coach Ravi Shastri and former legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar feels one match is not enough to determine the winners.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
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New Zealand Showed Great Professionalism In Winning The World Test Championship: Sir Richard Hadlee

Sir Richard Hadlee, former New Zealand all-rounder on Thursday said that the Kiwis showed great professionalism against India in the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC).

Sir Richard Hadlee’s comments came as New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets in the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC) on Wednesday at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

Sir Richard Hadlee. (Getty Images)
Sir Richard Hadlee. (Getty Images)

Sir Richard Hadlee Praises Dominant Performance Of The Kiwis

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor played unbeaten knocks off 52 and 47 respectively as New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets to clinch the inaugural edition of the WTC.

“This is a special day in the history of NZ cricket, a day to celebrate the magnificent achievement of winning the inaugural World Test Championship. It was a thrilling Test match, with twists and turns throughout.

“And, despite the inclement weather and loss of time, it was a dominant BLACKCAPS performance over a very good Indian team,” Sir Richard Hadlee said in a statement, released by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).

Ross Taylor in action against India on Day 6 of the WTC final (Twitter/BlackCaps)
Ross Taylor in action against India on Day 6 of the WTC final (Twitter/BlackCaps)
“Over the past two years, the BlackCaps performances in the Test arena have been outstanding with Test match and series wins at home and abroad, and they thoroughly deserve to be crowned world champions. The whole team has shown a high degree of professionalism. Their skill sets have complemented each other to make them a complete playing unit,” he added.

A complete effort on the Reserve 6th Day saw New Zealand edging India in a final which had its ebbs and flows in the first innings where New Zealand acquired a slender lead of 32 which proved to be a decisive factor in the end.

Sir Richard Hadlee Credits Management And Support Staff For Playing Important Roles In Preparing Players To Perform At The Highest Level

The Kiwis made full use of the slender 32-run lead acquired in the first innings and the Kane Williamson-led side bundled out India cheaply in the second innings to get a target of just 139. The batsmen did not relent and in the end, the side walked away with a comfortable victory.

“The management and support staff have also played important roles in preparing players to perform at the highest level. Over the years NZC has built a significant depth of players, which makes us one of the most competitive teams in world cricket. It’s fair to say that this current group of players is the best in our history,” he added.

Tim Southee with Kyle Jamieson
Tim Southee with Kyle Jamieson

Earlier, Kiwis pacer Tim Southee scalped four wickets as India was bundled out for 170 in the second innings on the Reserve Day. The inspired show with the ball ensured that New Zealand would need to score 139 runs in a minimum of 53 overs to win the title.

The architects of New Zealand’s victory were Kane Williamson(49 and 52*), Kyle Jamieson (5/31 in the 1st innings), and Tim Southee (4/48 in the 2nd innings). New Zealand was so disciplined with the ball throughout the match that they didn’t let an Indian batsman score a fifty in the entire Test.

This is the first time in 3 years that none of the Indian batsmen managed to score a half-century in a red-ball match since the Lord’s Test against England in 2018.

New Zealand 249 (Conway 54, Williamson 49, Shami 4-76) and 140 for 2 (Williamson 52*, Taylor 47, Ashwin 2-17) beat India 217 (Rahane 49, Kohli 44, Jamieson 5-31) and 170 (Pant 41, Southee 4-48) by eight wickets

Tim Southee
Tim Southee
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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.

Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
Mike Hesson will look to take RCB to the IPL Trophy | RCB
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The WTC Final Will Be A Test Of Captaincy For Both Kane Williamson And Virat Kohli : New Zealand Coach Mike Hesson

New Zealand has produced several top-quality memorable performances on the international stage, but an ICC title has eluded New Zealand cricket for over two decades now. New Zealand’s only ICC crown came in the form of the Champions Trophy which they won beating India in 2000.

They have made the summit clashes of the last two ODI World Cups – 2015 and 2019 – but failed to cross the final hurdle. The upcoming World Test Championship final against India in Southampton offers another chance for the Black Caps to win a major title.

New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup in the dressing-room Getty Images
New Zealand celebrate with the ICC Mini World Cup in the dressing-room Getty Images

New Zealand Coach Mike Hesson: Battle Between India’s Top Order And New Zealand’s Pacers Could Decide Outcome Of The WTC Final

In a chat with TOI, former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson spoke on the WTC final, how the two teams are placed, and captaincy credentials.

“They are even. The fact that it’s being played in a neutral venue makes the WTC final an even contest. I think both sides are going to be at their strongest which is great. Assuming there are no injuries in the next couple of weeks —both sides will be in full strength and we are in for an exciting Test match,” on assessing the two teams for the WTC Final.

Mike Hesson. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.
Mike Hesson. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

“I am keen to see how India’s top-order fares against the swinging ball. The ball does a bit in Southampton and as the cross breeze comes into play — it can be a challenge for the batsmen. How the Indian top-order plays the NZ pacers could decide the outcome of the WTC final,” on big battles of the WTC Final.

Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson feels that the battle between India’s much-vaunted top-order and New Zealand’s swing bowlers could decide the fate of the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

Mike Hesson: Whoever Wins The WTC Final Would Be Worthy Champions

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020. Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton.

“We are in our third final after the 2015 ODI World Cup followed by the 2019 WC in England. The Black Caps are a top-quality side who have played quality cricket for a long period of time. It’s a huge moment for both sides. Whoever wins the WTC final will be worthy champions,” on chance for New Zealand to add 2nd ICC crown after 2000 Champions Trophy.

“Both are very good leaders and yes, both are different in styles of captaincy. The players want to follow which is a great sign for any leader. Kane is more of a slow-burn in the sense that he likes to put pressure over a period of time. Virat, on the other hand, is constantly looking for ways to put his side in the driver’s seat.”

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

“The WTC final will be a test of captaincy for both Kane and Virat. As the wicket changes from day to day, it will be interesting to see how both Kane and Virat make those little tweaks in their strategies to stay ahead of the game,” on assessing the captains, having worked with both Virat Kohli (as director of cricket operations in RCB) and with Kane Williamson closely.

“I do. I think the fact that they have a reserve day is good. If after five tough days of cricket there isn’t a winner, then I am happy to say that a draw will be a good result,” on sharing title in case of a draw.

“In this edition, we only have one final. It will be interesting to see if ICC does opt for the best-of-three final in the future. It will depend on a lot of factors such as venue, playing conditions, and even time,” on best of 3 final.

New Zealand is currently bossing the first Test against England at Lord’s. Indian team players, on the other hand, are in quarantine and have started their staggered training sessions. The summit clash will kick off at 3:30 pm IST on June 18.

New Zealand leads in the 1st Test against England by 165 runs being placed at 62/2 at the end of the 4th day’s play. New Zealand scored 378 with debutant opener Devon Conway scoring 200 while England managed 275 in reply with Rory Burns scoring 132. Tim Southee picked 6 scalps.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee
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Tim Southee Loves Test Cricket Since It Gets His Blood Boiling

Tim Southee, veteran New Zealand seamer revealed he loves Test cricket more compared to other formats, adding that it gets the best out of him as it gets his ‘blood boiling’. The Kiwi bowler also spoke about the prospect of facing India in the first-ever World Test Championship final.

New Zealand has taken off for England, and they will start their quarantine soon in preparation for the upcoming two-match Test series against the Three Lions. However, all eyes will be on Southampton at the Rose Bowl when the Blackcaps face off against India in the World Test Championship final on June 18.

New Zealand’s Tim Southee (AP Photo/Ross Setford)
New Zealand’s Tim Southee (AP Photo/Ross Setford)

Tim Southee Loves His Treasured Format Test Cricket Which Gets The Blood Boiling

The New Zealand men’s cricket team departed for England on Saturday night to play a two-Test series, followed by the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against the Virat Kohli-captained India from June 18 onwards. While the Black Caps will play the first Test against the hosts from June 2 in London, the second Test will commence in Birmingham on June 10.

“I love test cricket. For me it’s my most treasured format. I love all three, but test cricket is something that really gets the blood boiling. Being the first [World Test Championship final] it will be pretty special as well. India in England is unusual on its own, but it’s great to test yourself against one of the best sides and they have been for a long period of time. It should be a great match,” Tim Southee said in an interview with stuff.co.nz.

BJ Watling, IND vs NZ, WTC final
This will be the last tour for New Zealand’s wicketkeeper-batsman, 35-year-old BJ Watling. Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Southee also jokingly remarked how the current crop of New Zealand players had got it easy compared to when he started his international cricket journey. The bowler debuted in 2008 as a 19-year-old and won just once in his first 14 Tests. However, things are changing, and the Kiwis have won 9 of their last 11 Test series.

“Ross [Taylor] and I quite often laugh about it because it took so long to have those wins. Guys are coming in and Kyle [Jamieson] has won six test matches already and hasn’t lost a test match,” Southee remarked.

This will be the last tour for Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman, 35-year-old BJ Watling, who recently announced that he was retiring from competitive cricket. He represented New Zealand so far in 73 Tests, 28 ODIs, and five T20Is.

Tim Southee Thinks Age Is Only A Number And One Should Continue Playing Tests As Long As One Is Still Able To Perform And Reach High Standards

The 32-year-old believes as long as he can maintain the requisite fitness standards, age is just a number and he can continue playing international cricket at the top level. Tim Southee also talked about how players take better care of their bodies in the modern-day, which is undoubtedly helping them elongate their careers.

“As long as you’re still able to perform and reach those high standards it takes to represent your country then I think age is only a number. You look at the likes of [England test veteran] James Anderson who is 38. He’s still arguably bowling as good as he ever has. hink cricketers in general look after themselves a lot better. We’re a lot fitter as a group, we train a lot on the strength and conditioning side of things. I think you’ll see players play for longer,” Tim Southee added.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee becomes third New Zealand bowler to pick 300 Test wickets, Black Caps Twitter

The seamer is still going strong in Test cricket and he has the fourth-most wickets in the longest format since 2019 (65 wickets from 14 matches). Only Pat Cummins, Stuart Broad, and Ravichandran Ashwin have taken more scalps in that time period.

Tim Southee has 302 wickets in 77 Tests averaging 28.71 besides having 190 scalps in 143 ODIs and 99 scalps in 82 T20Is. He has also picked 28 wickets in 40 IPL games having played his last match in 2019.

In the 2011 World Cup, he scalped 18 wickets at an excellent average of 17.33  which showed ample proof of his ability to adapt to sub-continental conditions. He also shone during the 2015 World Cup where New Zealand made their first-ever appearance in a final. His career-best spell of 7/33 came in World Cup 2015 where Tim Southee destroyed England’s batting line-up with his lethal spell with the new ball.

James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)
James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)
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Travel Was A Issue But Bio-bubble Was Safe Enough, Says James Pamment

James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer and Mumbai Indians fielding coach has revealed that after the Covid-19 cases emerged in the Kolkata Knight Rider (KKR) and Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) camps, the Australian and New Zealand cricketers he was in touch with became a ‘little more fearful and a little more apprehensive’.

James Pamment, along with Trent Boult, Finn Allen, Jimmy Neesham, Adam Milne, Scott Kuggeleijn, Shane Bond, and Mike Hesson reached their country Saturday night after IPL 2021 was suspended midway owing to the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.

James Pamment
James Pamment

James Pamment Felt Safe In Bio Bubble And Added That Travel Was Allows Going To Be A Challenging Aspect

James Pamment, who had been in India since January said he felt safe in the bio-secure bubble set up by Mumbai Indians and it was only the inter-city travel that was posed a concerning issue.

“We’d pretty much taken over a hotel in Mumbai and created a safe space – I think I was the first person in there. You felt as long as everyone was disciplined and people weren’t tempted … staff were also part of the bubble, they had to isolate for a two-week period before working and we were getting regular tests, so you felt it was an extremely safe bubble being formed. You did feel confident you’d be fine, and everybody around you would be fine,” James Pamment told Stuff.co.nz.

James Pamment
James Pamment Image courtesy Mumbai Indians

“We felt the travel was always going to be a challenge. We had a case ourselves on our first travel when we went to Chennai to prepare for the start of the tournament – it was a support staff member, fortunately, picked up very quickly and he was isolated, and none of the people considered close contacts to him were infected. But it was a very early reminder that your bubble’s not impenetrable. We probably got even stricter around how we operated,” he added.

Among those who returned home(New Zealand) from India were Shane Bond, Adam Milne, and James Pamment for whom the plane seat was reserved earlier.

James Pamment Felt Safe And Didn’t Feel Bubble Would Be Compromised With

James Pamment also said that he was happy with the franchise’s management of the whole situation. He said he and the Kiwi players felt very confident in the franchise’s management.

” Some of the senior Indian guys don’t like being restricted and told what to do, but we did feel safe – at no point did we feel the bubble would be compromised, the challenge was the travel,” he said, adding, “We all had MIQ vouchers booked for June, so as soon as we knew we were coming back, we jumped online individually to get the vouchers. “

“The plane was initially booked for three people – myself, Shane Bond, and Adam Milne – because Trent’s plans were to go to England, Jimmy Neesham’s plans were to go to England. RCB [Royal Challengers Bangalore] hadn’t had any cases and the Mumbai management were happy to consider them coming back with us as well.”

James Neesham
James Neesham (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

Besides Kane Williamson, the UK-bound group includes Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, Chris Donaldson (trainer), Tommy Simsek (physio), Lockie Ferguson, James Neesham, and Finn Allen.

The last three will feature in the T20 Blast in the UK starting June 9. Kane Williamson will also be a part of The Hundred, to be played from July 21. New Zealand plays England in a two-match Test series, beginning on June 2, before they face India in the World Test Championships finals at Southampton from June 18.

Tim Seifert, who was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad for the Indian Premier League 2021 season, was tested positive for Covid-19, as per a statement released by New Zealand Cricket. The wicketkeeper-batsman missed his charter flight back to New Zealand with all the other members of the New Zealand contingent. Tim Seifert now will stay in isolation in Ahmedabad and will be transferred to Chennai, where he will be taken to a private hospital for treatment, before making his way back home.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP
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UK Bound New Zealand Players In IPL 2021 Likely To Remain In India Till May 10

New Zealand cricketers involved in the now-suspended IPL, including captain Kane Williamson, are likely to remain in India at least till May 10 before flying to England for national duty, their players’ union chief said on Wednesday.

The remaining players as well as the support staff in various IPL teams and commentators could return home by charter flights arranged by the franchises, New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association head Heath Mills said.

Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram
Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram

New Zealand Cricketers Can’t Travel To England To Play The Hundred, T20 Blast, Test Series, And WTC Final Till May 11: Heath Mills

Heath Mills is expecting a revision in the travel restrictions for incoming travellers from India by the British government. Only British nationals are allowed to travel from India in the current scenario and they need to serve out a 10-day quarantine at a government-approved facility.

“Due to the UK border restrictions, that group cannot get into England until May 11. It is obviously challenging for them to wait for another few days (in India),” Mills told ESPNcricinfo.

Kane Williamson (L), Kyle Jamieson (R)(HT Collage)
Kane Williamson (L), Kyle Jamieson (R)(HT Collage)

Besides Kane Williamson, the UK-bound group includes Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, Chris Donaldson (trainer), Tommy Simsek (physio), Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, and Finn Allen.

The last three will feature in the T20 Blast in the UK starting June 9. Kane Williamson will also be a part of The Hundred, to be played from July 21. New Zealand plays England in a two-match Test series, beginning on June 2, before they face India in the World Test Championships finals at Southampton from June 18.

Heath Mills: The Group Going Home To New Zealand Is A Real Challenge

Those returning home from India are Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Shane Bond, Mike Hesson, Tim Seifert, Adam Milne, Scott Kuggeleijn, and James Pamment. Heath Mills said a few franchises are contemplating organizing a charter flight for this group.

“The group going home to New Zealand is a real challenge. Might be one or two of the franchises might put them on a charter plane, which will be fantastic,” he said.

“We’ll have that confirmed in the next 24 hours,” he added.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

“But there still might be players who aren’t part of those groups and trying to get them back via commercial airlines is a real challenge because there aren’t too many flights out of India.”

There were 17 New Zealanders in all involved in the IPL, including 10 players. It is very surprising that the New Zealand cricketers are not looking to return home despite two KKR players and three support staff of CSK testing positive for Covid-19.

There is a total of 10 New Zealand cricketers involved in the IPL teams and 6 New Zealand coaches are also involved. New Zealand Cricket Association CEO, Heath Mills said that no player has so far looking to return to their country and they have been continuously monitoring the situation in the IPL

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