2021 WTC: India vs New Zealand – June 18 -22 – Betting Odds and Predictions
The first-ever World Test Championship (WTC) final will occur between India and New Zealand from June 18 to 22 in Southampton. The 2021 WTC has not received as much media attention as it should have due to the COVID-19 pandemic but make no mistake about it; both teams will compete fiercely to win the inaugural WTC.
India vs New Zealand – Betting Odds
India goes in as the betting favourite for a couple of reasons. They are ranked first on the ICC Test points table, and New Zealand is in second place. The second reason is that India does seem to have a better team on paper. India currently has odds of 1.92 while the Kiwis have odds of 2.48. The odds of the match ending in a draw are currently at 4.00.
Do keep in mind that these odds will change as we get closer to the start of the test. The weather forecast is pretty good, with a low of around 13 degrees and a max of 20 degrees. There is the threat of rain only on Day 4 of the test, but it does not appear that Day 4 will be a washout.
Our Experts Believe New Zealand Are Favorites
While the sportsbooks have New Zealand as the betting underdogs or experts believe that the Kiwis should be the favourites going into the first test. This is because New Zealand is currently playing a two-match test series against England in England.
This is the perfect preparation for the Kiwis to take on India, who were playing T20 cricket during the 2021 IPL before it was cut short. India has not had any warm-up game in England and will be coming in the cold to face New Zealand in the WTC.
This is clearly a worry for both Indian head coach Ravi Shastri and some of the senior players on the side. Shastri has told the media that he would have preferred if the WTC final was a three-test series as it would have allowed both sides to compete properly and decide who was the best test team in the world.
Veteran off-spinner R Ashwin said that the Kiwis definitely go into the WTC with an advantage over India. They will be more accustomed to English conditions and adjusting to the five-day game.
With that being said, international cricket teams have to adjust quickly to different formats and conditions. However, India comes with an experienced team and will back themselves to adjust quickly and give the Kiwis are a tough challenge.
India – Strengths and Weaknesses
We have already pointed out that one of India’s weaknesses in the WTC final is that they are coming in cold with no warm-up game and switching from the T20 to the 5-day format. India has a habit of losing their first test when they play overseas, and they cannot afford to make the same mistake against the Kiwis as it will mean losing the WTC.
India will be looking at their collective strengths to offset its main weakness. India has a very balanced side in both the batting and bowling department. They have a blend of experience and youth and the best batsman in the world in captain Virat Kohli. Their bowlers are also fit and, on their day, can bowl out any batting line-up in the world.
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami.
New Zealand – Strengths and Weaknesses
What’s India’s biggest weakness is going to be New Zealand’s biggest strength. They have adjusted nicely to the test format after playing England in back to back tests. They are also familiar with the conditions and will definitely have the edge over India.
Their batting line-up is also in form with Devon Conway, H Nicholls, R Tayor making runs and their key bowlers T Boult and T Southee picking up wickets. However, a big concern for the Kiwis is that their regular captain Kane Williamson had to miss the second test due to an injury.
Williamson is the best batsman on the side, and New Zealand is very keen to have him back in time for the WTC. If Kane Williamson misses out, then the gap between the two sides will definitely narrow down.
New Zealand Playing XI: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
Our Verdict – India Will Win
We believe that the toss will be more important for India to win than New Zealand. India should put New Zealand into bat and look to use the conditions and get them out quickly. The Indian batsmen will benefit by watching the Kiwis bat first, and it will help them gauge the conditions and settle in a little better.
We have our money on India as we expect them to win!