India likely to struggle in WTC final if conditions favour fast bowlers: Panesar

NEW DELHI: Former England spinner Monty Panesar feels New Zealand will hold the edge over India in the World Test Championship final if conditions favour the pacers at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
It is rainy and cold in the UK at the moment and if it stays that way for the WTC final starting from June 18, then it will be advantage New Zealand, feels Panesar.
“At the moment there is a lot of rain around. If the weather stays like this then it will be an interesting battle between the Indian and New Zealand seamers. The New Zealand batsman also play the moving ball better than Indian batsmen. “So, that, that would be quite interesting to see if the ball is swinging and moving at some stage during the Test match, how the Indian batsmen, stand up to it compared to the New Zealand,” Panesar told PTI over the phone from UK.
However, if it is nice and sunny in the port city of Southampton, then the conditions will suit India more, said the former left-arm spinner.
Panesar also expects the ICC to prepare a neutral wicket and not a green top as the WTC is supposed to be a good advert for the five-day game.
“They have got a great draining system at the Ageas Bowl. Normally you see nice good hot weather. Hopefully, the game will go on for the whole four to five days,” he said. “On that basis, you are looking at two spinners (Ashwin and Jadeja) from India and three seamers. If the weather is clear then India become favourites. So it depends a lot on the conditions.”
Indian team will arrive in the UK on June 2 and will get a little over 10 days to train.
New Zealand, on the other hand, are playing two Tests against England before the WTC final and many see it as a big advantage but Panesar reckons it can be a double-edged sword.

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