The inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) will finally come to an end when the two finalists - India and New Zealand - battle it out at Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton from June 18-22. It is undoubtedly going to be a hard-fought contest and the fans are eagerly waiting for the highly-anticipated clash. With so many cricket stars on display, there will be some huge expectations from the fans as they would want their favourite players to deliver. While it is guaranteed that there will be some quality cricket on offer, there are a few key aspects that we can expect in the final showdown.
1. Wagner's Short ball barrage
The left-arm pacer is one of the most lethal bowlers in Test cricket right now. While Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson will hope to trouble the Indian batsmen with their seam and swing, Neil Wagner has a completely different skill-set altogether. The 35-year-old has the special ability to bowl dangerous short-pitch deliveries for a continuous period of time. Coming from round the wicket, the pacer directs his deliveries towards the body of the batsmen, making him almost unplayable.
Wagner has troubled a lot of batsmen in the last few years and would be unleashing his lethal weapon of bouncers during the WTC Final. It is going to be really exciting to see what plans will Virat Kohli's side come up against the Kiwi's short-ball barrage. No matter who wins the fierce battle, one thing is certain that there will be some breathtaking action whenever Wagner will bowl.
2. Virat Kohli's 71st Century
The world is eagerly waiting for two things to end as soon as possible - First is the ongoing pandemic and the second is Virat Kohli's century drought. The Indian skipper is stuck on 70 international tons since November 2019 when he scored a fantastic century against Bangladesh in pink-ball Test in Kolkata. While the stylish batsman has come close to scoring a hundred again on quite a few occasions, he has unfortunately missed out every time.
As Kohli is set to enter the history books by becoming the first cricketer ever to feature in the finals of all ICC events, the 32-year-old will definitely want to grace the occasion with the much-awaited 71st international hundred of his career. Having not yet won an ICC trophy as captain of India, the motivation will be quite high for Virat Kohli as he would want to take the responsibility on his own shoulders and lead the team from the front.
3. Kane Williamson's resilience
The New Zealand skipper is one of the best Test batsmen of this generation and has been a class apart from the rest of the batsmen in the last couple of years. Williamson is the backbone of New Zealand's side and no matter how tough the conditions are, the 30-year-old is like a rock at the crease. The Kiwi has scored 817 runs in 14 innings in the WTC 2019-21 cycle, which also includes a scintillating 251-run knock against West Indies.
The Indian bowlers will certainly need to come up with a master plan to stop Williamson from playing another big knock against them in the ultimate showdown. Meanwhile, the 30-year-old will only have one aim - to spend as much time as he can at the crease and show the resilience that he is known for. Unless the bowlers can come up with some magic, the fans can be certain of watching another batting masterclass by super Kane in Southampton.