WTC Final: Here’s why New Zealand hold an edge over India

Before when Virat and Co take the field in the WTC final, they will be up against a poor record against New Zealand in major International Cricket Council (ICC) events
WTC Final: Here’s why New Zealand hold an edge over India
Virat Kohli led India will battle Kane Williamson's New Zealand in the debut World Test Championship (WTC) Final on June 18The Bridge Chronicle

New Zealand led by Kane Williamson will hold an edge over Virat Kohli’s side team India in the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) final.

New Zealand are preparing for the inaugural WTC Final by facing England in a two-Test series which began on June 2. After a draw in the first Test at Lord’s, they will play their next Test in Birmingham from June 10 to 14 before taking on India in Southampton from June 18. On the other side, No. 1 ranked Team India, won't be playing any warm-up games but will just have multiple practice sessions before heading into the all-important encounter, which is being considered as the World Cup final of Test cricket.

Before when Virat and Co take field in the WTC final, they will be up against a poor record against New Zealand in major International Cricket Council (ICC) events stretching back to 18 years.

India's seven-wicket victory in the 2003 World Cup under skipper Sourav Ganguly was the last time they beat the Kiwis in an ICC tournament. Left-arm pace bowler Zaheer Khan grabbed four wickets while off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took two as India thrashed New Zealand for 146 and won the match by seven wickets in Centurion. Since then India have lost every match to them at ICC events. Here's a look at them:

Virat Kohli led India will battle Kane Williamson's New Zealand in the debut World Test Championship (WTC) Final on June 18
India vs New Zealand WTC final: Player battles to watch out for

2020, WTC Test series in New Zealand

Not so far but this defeat came just when the World Test Championship started. India lost the first Test when they travelled New Zealand last year. Batting first, the visitors were bundled for 165 as Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson grabbed four wickets each. The Kiwis made 348 in their first innings with the help of 89 from captain Kane Williamson. The 183-run lead proved too much for India as they lost seven wickets in second innings before they could clear the lead. India were all out for 191 as Kiwis managed victory by 10 wickets in Wellington.

India also lost the second Test in Christchurch by seven wickets. Even though they put up a little better first innings score of 242 and took a seven-run lead, they faced defeat in the match. The batting collapsed for 124 in second innings against the pace of Tim Southee (3/36) and Trent Boult (4/28). The 132-run target proved to be a cakewalk for the hosts.

2019, World Cup semi-final (Old Trafford)

One of the most disappointing losses for India. Having lost only to host England in the league stage and topping the league table, the Indian team led by Virat Kohli was favourite to win the tie that was played over two days due to bad weather.

After a solid but cautious start through captain Kane Williamson (67 off 95), Ross Taylor (74 off 90) and Henry Nicholls (28 off 51), the Kiwis lost momentum and from 134/2, they ended by putting 239 on the scoreboard. Pacer Bhuvneshwar grabbed three wickets for 43 runs to help India run through New Zealand's late order averting them from taking the total over 250.

India's batting, however, fell apart when they batted on the second day (reserve day), losing first three wickets for five runs. At 24 for four, it looked game over but Ravindra Jadeja's 77 off 59 balls took India to 221 but ultimately facing the defeat by 18 runs.

2016, T20 World Cup Super-10 match (Nagpur)

India restricted New Zealand to 126/7 in 20 overs on a pitch that helped spinners in Nagpur in the T20 World Cup Super-10 match in 2016. Corey Anderson who managed to score 34 off 42 balls, and Luke Ronchi who scored a quickie of 21 off 11 deliveries were the only noteworthy contributors for New Zealand.

However, the visitors' spin trio Nathan McCullum, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi shared nine wickets to skittle out India for 79. The Kiwis won by 47 runs.

The batting likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni fell prey to Kiwi’s spin magic.

2007, World T20 league (Johannesburg)

This goes back to 14 years, when Kiwis had a star-studded playing XI. New Zealand just managed to score 190 batting first with Brendon McCullum scoring 45 (31 balls), Craig McMillan hitting 44 (off 23 balls) and Jacob Oram 35 (off 15 balls).

In response, India finished 10 runs short at 180/9 in 20 overs. Left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori picked four wickets for 20 runs to put in a man-of-the-match performance. Apart from opening partnership of 91; Gautam Gambhir (51) and Virender Sehwag (40), rest of the Indian team failed to score more than 20 runs individually.

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