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WTC Final: New Zealand will come in to Southampton with advantage over India, says Ravichandran Ashwin

WTC Final: New Zealand will come in to Southampton with advantage over India, says Ravichandran Ashwin
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WTC Final: New Zealand will come in to Southampton with advantage over India, says Ravichandran Ashwin

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India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has insisted that New Zealand will have an advantage coming into the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), having played England just before the summit clash

India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has insisted that New Zealand will have an advantage coming into the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), having played England just before the summit clash.

New Zealand and India will face off in the inaugural WTC final, which is scheduled to begin on June 18 in Southampton.

Kane Williamson-led New Zealand are currently playing England in a two-match Test series, which is being considered as a preparation for the WTC final. Meanwhile, Team India will play the BlackCaps straight away in the WTC final without playing any warm-up game in the lead up to it. The second Test between New Zealand and England is due to end four days before the WTC final.

"I expect a very-well planned and a well-knit New Zealand team to come at us and obviously, having played two Tests in England they will definitely come in with an advantage so we have to adapt quicker.

It has to be the most exciting part of playing Test cricket, in all these years it's (WTC Final) never happened, we have never played a team on a neutral venue but I think going forward, the World Test Championship could add context to two teams playing away from their home, bringing the ebbs and flows of the game," Ashwin said on bcci.tv.

Having won 12 out of the 17 Tests they played during the 2019-21 WTC, India qualified for the final as the most successful team in the competition. Out of the six Test series played, Virat Kohli and Co won five, including two historic Border-Gavaskar series in 2018-19 and 2020-21 in Australia.

New Zealand on the other hand, won seven out of the 11 Tests and triumphed in seven series out of five played to reach the final.

"Test cricket is the ultimate form that we have, it is also the greatest test of a cricketer's ability, mental space and everything else. For a long time cricketer's wanted this sort of a space, some context to Test cricket. I am looking forward to the final actually," the 34-year-old spinner further explained.

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