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India haven’t played a Test series since they claimed the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in January for the third time in a row, though New Zealand come into this off a massive series win in England last week, so they’ll be full of confidence heading into this.
Kane Williamson missed that final test against England, though he should be available for this and that will only serve to strengthen their chances.
At a glance, it seems as though everything is in the Kiwis’ favour, with the conditions favouring seam bowlers, of which they have an abundance, while their recent heroics have served as perfect preparation while their opponents enter this off the back of no competitive test cricket for over six months and a two-week quarantine period.
While India’s batting line-up looks pretty set in stone and well balanced, there are questions to be answered over their bowling, not in terms of quality, but personnel and strategy.
Do they play with one more fast bowler in what is likely going to be good conditions for swing, or do they play to their strengths and opt for two spinners? Finding the right balance to their bowling attack could be key here against a dangers New Zealand batting order.
Like India, the Kiwis also look to have their opening partnership set with Tom Latham and Devon Conway. Williamson is set to return, though he’s scored five and three in his last two innings against India so if they can limit his runs again that will very much swing the game in their favour.
Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Kyle Jamieson will form the pace attack with little doubt over their credentials and while they’ll be proud of their achievements against England this month, the hosts were a much changed and inexperienced side, and India are going to be a different animal.
India Draw No Bet
There’s very little to separate the two in the betting, though we think India are over-priced on that basis.
They look the stronger outfit all around and we feel that market has been influenced heavily by New Zealand’s win over what is one of the worst England sides in recent memory, and we have to have our money on the Indians in this final, though with the pitch looking very flat and weather looking like it could cause some issues, the draw no bet looks the smarter play.