Not England, not Australia, it’d be India vs New Zealand to play at Lord’s for the World Test Championship final. Well, for cricket lovers the wait is too long. Nearly 3 and half months. The WTC final would begin from 18th June at the most iconic stage of all, the historical Lord’s stadium in London.
The same place where India became a limited overs’ world champion in 1983. And also the same place where New Zealand lost in finals to England, in the most dramatic, heartbreaking fashion. Who would have thought that a tie, then a super over tie, and eventually England winning on the boundary countback.
The game of cricket is amazing, with all the excitement and heart-stopping moments. But for the die-hard connoisseurs, Test cricket is best. It tests a team’s skill, mental toughness, competitiveness, and almost every aspect of human strength. That’s what the Indian Cricket team has shown in the last two series in Australia and recently in the home series against England.
It’s not easy to come back after losing the first test in the most forgettable fashion, then winning the series. India won 2-1 in Australia, and now 3-1 against England. What made these wins special was a complete team effort and the youngsters who played fearless cricket to put the icing on the cake. Consider the number of match-winners in India’s last two test series, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Mohammad Siraj to name a few. With the seniors chipping in at crucial moments, Ashwin and Rohit against England, and Pujara standing tall against the intimidating pace attack in Australia, this team has shown everything that a real champion team needs.
In the recently concluded India-England series, the last two tests were played at the recently built Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad. Of which, first ended in two and second in three days. English batsmen didn’t seem to have any clues against Ashwin and Axar. Pitch was blamed by some former players and experts, while others opined otherwise. Arguments were made for and against so called ‘Home Advantage’. But, this advantage won’t be available to either India or New Zealand at Lord’s. Talking about New Zealand, no doubt it is one of the most hard-working, disciplined unit. With, probably the calmest head in Kane Williamson captaining them. This team from a small country has won the hearts of the whole cricket world by the way they play their game in the most competitive way. New Zealand has reached back to back One Day International’s finals. In 2015 they lost to their neighbor Australia, and in 2019 to England in the most dramatic way one can imagine. They are again in finals, this time in Test cricket. On the other hand, India knows how to be the champion. They won one One Day World Cup editions in 1983 in England, and in 2011 in India. That, apart from the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa.
Cometh the June of 18, the biggest test match would begin at Lord’s to decide who is the “lords of Test Cricket”.
– This write-up is contributed by Shadab Ahmed (Journalist from India)
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