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WTC Final: "Whoever wins this contest, his team will have a significant advantage" - Aakash Chopra picks the key battles to watch out for

Aakash Chopra believes there will be several player battles to look out for during the WTC final
Aakash Chopra believes there will be several player battles to look out for during the WTC final
Kartik Iyer
ANALYST

Aakash Chopra has picked the key player battles that could decide the course of the World Test Championship (WTC) Final.

Team India will face New Zealand in the WTC final in Southampton which begins on June 18. Both sides have well-rounded squads, with a few intriguing contests likely to decide the fate of the title decider.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra picked the contest between the two skippers - Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson - as the one that could sway the WTC final in either team's favor.

"There are quite a few key contests which might define the game. One is both the captains. Kohli the captain, Kane the captain and Kohli the batsman, Kane the batsman. Whoever wins this contest, his team will have a significant advantage."

The cricketer-turned-commentator highlighted that the two batting stalwarts have different obstacles to overcome. Aakash Chopra elaborated:

"Both will have a different kind of pressure. Kohli has scored runs in the last year but there has been no century. Kane, on the other hand, is fighting an elbow injury and didn't play the second match against England."

Virat Kohli last scored a century in the pink-ball Test against Bangladesh in 2019. He will seek to end his run of matches without a hundred in the WTC final. For the Black Caps, Kane Williamson has reportedly recovered from his elbow injury and will hope to lead from the front in the crunch encounter.


Aakash Chopra's picks of the other key battles in the WTC Final

Tim Southee and Trent Boult will look to rattle the Indian batsmen
Tim Southee and Trent Boult will look to rattle the Indian batsmen

The new-ball contest between Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult is another battle Aakash Chopra is looking forward to in the WTC final.

"Rohit Sharma against Trent Boult, that's going to be a great contest, whether Trent Boult is able to trouble Rohit Sharma with the incoming deliveries and dismiss him or if Rohit Sharma will be able to score runs."

The 43-year-old also added that Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will have to counter the threat of Tim Southee's swinging deliveries during the WTC final.

"Then I am thinking about Tim Southee. Here I want to see how our middle-order batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane play in front of him because he will pitch the ball up and ask difficult questions."

Aakash Chopra feels Rishabh Pant versus Neil Wagner will be a riveting affair if the latter is selected in the Blackcaps playing XI.

"Rishabh Pant v Neil Wagner, if he plays, because Neil Wagner bowls the bouncers and that is a contest because both are aggressive."

From an Indian bowling perspective, Aakash Chopra picked the contest between Jasprit Bumrah and the Kiwi openers as a key battle in the WTC final. He also added that Ishant Sharma versus Ross Taylor will be a contest to look forward to.

He signed off by stating that all the Indian bowlers will have to target Williamson and try to dismiss him if India are to win the WTC final.

Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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