Cricket: 'Expecting it to be tough' - Henry Nicholls warns New Zealand ahead of WTC final vs India

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 26, 2021, 08:12 PM(IST)

Cricket: Henry Nicholls warns New Zealand ahead of WTC final vs India Photograph:( AFP )

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New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls has said that the Black Caps need to be prepared for the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja despite the Indian team boasting a lethal pace attack. New Zealand will take on India in the final of the ICC World Test Championship in Southampton from June 18.  

New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls has said that the Black Caps need to be prepared for the Indian spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja despite the Indian team boasting a lethal pace attack. New Zealand will take on India in the final of the ICC World Test Championship in Southampton from June 18.  

India’s pace attack consists of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami whereas the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur are also in contention for the playing XI spot. For New Zealand, the pace troika of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner are likely to take up the red cherry in Southampton.

“India have a very good seam attack and also have experienced spinners like Ashwin and Jadeja. They have been consistent in all parts of the world (of late) and bring quality (to attack),” Nicholls, who has been in good form of late in Test cricket, told PTI in an interview.

Nicholls further said taking on India will be an exciting challenge and the New Zealand cricket team, as a group, is expecting a tough fight from the world’s number one Test unit.

“Mohammed Shami along with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma have proven their quality over the years which is similar to our seamers (Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner) on whom we really pride ourselves on.

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“So if you are facing that kind of a line-up, it’s an exciting challenge and as a group we are expecting it to be tough but also looking forward to the challenge,” the 29-year-old southpaw, who enjoys a 43 plus average over 37 Test matches, said.

“That was something that we experimented in the camp before we came over to UK. You managed to get some more turn and get some practice. So playing at a neutral venue, we need to check what the wickets will be like there. Also the guile of Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja is something that we need to be prepared for,” Nicholls said.

Nicholls was a part of the New Zealand outfit that hammered India within three days in two home Test matches in early 2020 and the Black Caps batsman feels the series win gave a lot of confidence from the victorious event.

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“It’s an exciting challenge as finally we will be playing a Test match at a neutral venue. So that for both sides kind of levels the playing field.

“We beat them 2-0 a season back (2019-20). But we know and accept that it’s a different challenge but as a group we take a lot of confidence from that series win against India. Obviously, Number one and two playing the final is a challenge too,” he said.

Before the WTC Final against India, New Zealand will take on England in a two-Test series starting June 2.

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