With days inching closer to the much-awaited World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand, Indian fans are excited to see what possible line-up captain Virat Kohli will use against the Kiwis in Southampton while keeping in mind that the condition in England is always going to be tricky.
English pitches and weather has often forced captains to go into a Test mach without spinners but as far as former England spinner Monty Panesar believes that they will have a big role to play in the final and he is putting his money on Ravichandran Ashwin to be the star of the match.
“I think New Zealand is quite a good team and Conway had a great game against England. They have got few left-handers in there so I am sure Ashwin will probably be the first-choice spinner,” Panesar told ANI. “New Zealand looks a better team than I think a lot of people thought in England and they are kind of playing like a number one team in the world. I think it is going to be a great Test match between the two sides and it’s not going to be easy for India.
He further felt that Ashwin’s importance gets bigger with so many left-handers in the Kiwi squad.
“But with the weather around and so many left-handers in the New Zealand squad, Ashwin could be the match-winner in this final. The difference is going to be Ashwin, I think Tim Southee is bowling well, he could be the difference for New Zealand,” the former spinner added.
“If Ashwin can get the left-handers out cheaply, I think New Zealand would be in trouble, if Ashwin can’t then it would put more and more pressure on seamers. If he performs as he did in his country, India will be in a stronger position,” Panesar said.
He further reasoned that there is a heatwave in England at this time of the year making it possible to play two spinners so Ravindra Jadeja must play too.
“We have a heatwave here and the weather is fantastic, I think the wicket will turn and India might go with two spinners. Also, Virat Kohli wants to get Ravindra Jadeja in the team,” he added.