Team India is currently in Southampton for the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final. They will clash with New Zealand in the battle of getting crowned as the first Test champions. The one-off Final will begin from June 18 and there will be a sixth day which will act as a reserve day in case some overs get washed out due to rain.
While the Indian team has completed 10 days in England’s southern city, New Zealand have arrived yesterday after thrashing England at their fortress Edgbaston and winning the series 1-0. Both the teams will clash with each other in the one-off final starting June 18 at the Hampshire Bowl.
The Virat Kohli-led team India has started training at the stadium and has also played a four-day intra-squad match simulation at a ground next to the Hampshire bowl. Reflecting on the practice, speedster and a bowling veteran of team India, Ishant Sharma, is hopeful that the duke ball will swing even without saliva.
Speaking on the Cricket Connected show on Star Sports, Ishant said that they need to maintain the ball well and only then, it will help the bowlers. “I think it is not that difficult. I think the ball will swing even without saliva and somebody needs to take responsibility to maintain the ball. And if the ball is maintained well in these conditions, then it becomes easier for the bowlers to take wickets in these conditions,” Ishant said.
‘In England, the length is fuller because of the swing’
About adapting to English conditions and the lengths, Ishant said, “You need to train differently and adapt to the change. In India, you get the reverse swing after some time, but in England, the length is fuller because of the swing. So, you have to adjust to the lengths. It is not easy to force that and the weather here is cooler so it takes time to acclimatize to the weather.”
There will be a tussle between Ishant, Shami and Siraj for the remaining two seamers alongside Jasprit Bumrah. With India likely to persist with their combination of two spinners – Ashwin and Jadeja, either of the three quicks will have to miss out in the inaugural final.