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Select New Zealand XI for WTC final

June 17, 2021 14:24 IST

IMAGE: The New Zealand team jerseys for the ICC World Test Championship final against India. Photograph: Kind courtesy Black Caps/Twitter

Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel was preferred ahead of the experienced Mitchell Santner as New Zealand went in a pace-heavy attack for the ICC World Test Championship against India,in Southampton.

New Zealand, who beat England 1-0 in the two-Test series, have picked up a strong 15-member squad with a lot of options in the pace bowling department.

Kane Williamson is back to lead the team after missing the second Test against England because of an elbow injury along with veteran wicket-keeper B J Watling.

Left-arm spinner Santner, who has taken 41 wickets in 24 Tests, was left out after his below-par showing in the first Test in Edgbaston with the 32-year-old Patel getting the nod after his good showing in the second Test.

The Kiwi pacers will be keen to get going at the Indian batting line-up in conditions expected to be friendly for the seamers at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner are likely starters in a four-man pace attack, while medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme is a strong contender because of his all-round abilities.

In the batting department, opener Devon Conway will be looking to continue his good form. He started off his Test career with a bang, stroking a brilliant 200 on debut against England at Lord's and followed it up with another impressive innings of 80 in the next Test.

Senior pros Williamson and Ross Taylor provide the experience in the middle order and will be looking to nullify the spin threat.

Given the Indian batting line-up's weakness against swinging deliveries, New Zealand could go in with an all-pace attack with the pitch likely to offer pace and bounce.

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