Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee believes New Zealand may have an advantage over India in the eagerly-awaited World Test Championship final in Southampton as the Black Caps are more accustomed to conditions favourable for swing bowling.
India and New Zealand will fight it out from June 18 in the marquee clash. The Indian team landed in the U.K. on Thursday and is undergoing quarantine. New Zealand, on the other hand, is competing in a two-Test series against host England.
“I think it is pretty evenly matched there. I am thinking though with the experience of New Zealand because they have bowled in conditions which are similar back home,” Lee told the ICC’s official website.
“It may be conducive to fast bowling, to swing bowling. So that is where I think that the Kiwis might have an advantage purely from that fact. Now from a batting point of view, both sides have got batsmen that can play against swing bowling. But I think it comes down to bowling. I think whichever team bowls best will win the final.”
An interesting sub-plot of the clash will be the different styles of captaincy that Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson will exhibit. Lee said it would be an interesting battle.
“Kane is a lot more conservative without being boring. He has got a great cricket brain. I admire his level of calmness. He is a conservative captain, but attacks when he needs to. Because he is patient, and it works for him and his team,” Lee said.
“And you look at Kohli, he is more of an aggressive captain. There is no right or wrong answer to any of these because I have played under captains who are conservative and captains who are too aggressive. But this is going to be a great opportunity to see which one comes out on top because they are different. So yeah, it is going to be exciting to see who comes out on top!” he said.
The players are quite familiar with each other thanks to the IPL.
Lee rejected the suggestion that the friendship forged in the IPL, like the one between Mumbai Indians team-mates Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah, may have a bearing on the intensity of the contest.
“When you get out there, it is war. It is a battle, and you are playing for your country. That will not change.”