Featuring nine of the 12 Test-playing nations in the first edition, the ICC World Test Championship began its journey on August 1, 2019, during the Ashes Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Over the course of two years, the tournament witnessed a tough battle for the top two spots with the points system changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship will witness its maiden final match between India and New Zealand. The World Test Championship Finals are all set to begin on 18th June and end on 22nd June. Ind vs NZ WTC final was initially set to take place at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground. But because of COVID-19 restrictions and logistical issues, it was shifted to the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.
Before we witness history being made at the World Test Championship Finals, let us look at how the two top teams fared in the tournament and reached the top spot.
India’s Journey To The WTC Final
West Indies vs India: India won 2-0
India vs South Africa: India won 3-0
India vs Bangladesh: India won 2-0
New Zealand vs India: India lost 0-2
Australia vs India: India won 2-1
India vs England: India won 3-1
New Zealand’s Journey To The WTC Final
Sri Lanka vs New Zealand: Series drew 1-1
Australia vs New Zealand: New Zealand lost 0-3
New Zealand vs India: New Zealand won 2-0
New Zealand vs West Indies: New Zealand won 2-0
New Zealand vs Pakistan: New Zealand won 2-0
Now, let’s look at some of the best players World Test Championship Finals to watch out for-
Playing in the middle order for team India in Ind vs NZ WTC final is Virat Kohli. He managed to score a total of 877 runs from 22 innings at a below-par average of 43.9 in the tournament. Overall, Virat Kohli’s stats look decent and he is one of the players that would be in the spotlight in the World Test Championship Finals.
Kane Willamson will play in the middle order for team New Zealand in the WTC final. He was probably the overall best performer from both the teams in the ICC World Test Championship. Kane Williamson managed to score a total of 817 runs from 14 innings at an average of 58.4. He is one of the players who will give a tough fight to the Indian team in the World Test Championship Finals. New Zealand fans will be praying their 30-year-old skipper can continue the same form in the finals.
Rishabh Pant, with dedication and hard efforts, became the team’s first-choice wicket-keeper in the longest format. The 23-year-old’s stunning returns in Australia along with a great improvement in the wicket-keeping turned the tables! Rishabh Pant managed a good 662 runs from 18 innings at a good average of 41.4. He played a lot of match-winning hits, including the best of all, 89* at Gabba. Rishabh Pant’s 40 dismissals as the wicket-keeper for team India makes him one of the best players in the World Test Championship Finals.
The next player on the list is Timothy Grant Southee A.K.A. Tim Southee, a pacer from New Zealand in the WTC final. He averages 24.46 with the ball and also has a bowling strike rate of 43.20 against team India, better than any other team he's played against. Presently, Tim Southee is the highest wicket-taker for New Zealand in the World Test Championship with 51 wickets in 10 test matches at an outstanding average of 20.66. It will definitely be a treat to watch him show a good game with the ball in the World Test Championship Finals.
Ravichandran Ashwin is a top pacer representing team India in the World Test Championship Finals. The third-highest wicket-keeper in the championship, he picked up 14 wickets at an average of 32.92. Ravichandran Ashwin has played just six test matches in England and would be playing hard to improve his record at the WTC final and grab the top spot as the highest wicket-taker.
Pacer Kyle Jamieson is another key player from the New Zealand squad who can make an impression in the WTC Final with his outstanding bowling skills. In the only test match he played against England, he managed to pick three wickets. Along with the ball, Kyle Jamieson has a steady hand at the bat and can showcase a good game. He is undoubtedly a player to watch out for in the World Test Championship Finals
An opener for the men in blue in the World Test Championship Finals, Rohit Sharma had a good game throughout the championship. He managed to score 1030 runs in 17 innings at a brilliant average of 64.5. This is the highest score bagged by an opener. We hope that in the WTC final too, Rohit Sharma is at the top of his game.
The two teams are all set to face each other in the WTC final tomorrow in the kick-off match. Do not forget to catch the Ind vs NZ WTC final LIVE only on Tata Sky Star Sports 1 HD - 454 from 18th June to 22nd June!