Former New Zealand captain Glenn Turner reckons that should the conditions in the final of the ICC World Test Championship are seam and swing friendly, India batters including Virat Kohli may endure a hard time. India are set to face New Zealand in the summit clash starting June 18 in Southampton.
Turner’s prediction takes root from India’s tour of New Zealand in January 2020 when in two Tests, the tourists were blanked 2-0 with Kohli aggregating a mere 38 runs.
“I don’t wish to speculate on whether Kohli’s reflexes have deteriorated. But if the pitch and overall conditions favour seam and swing, he is also likely to struggle along with others as was demonstrated in New Zealand,” Turner, a former New Zealand selector, told The Telegraph.
Kohli, however, has buried his England demons during the 2018 tour by scoring 593 runs during a five-match Test series meaning he has found a way to deal with the challenging conditions.
“Once again, conditions are going to be pivotal,” Turner said. “I think it is true to say that the home conditions, where batsmen are brought up, play a significant part in the technique and skills of a player.”
Even if conditions in India, which have historically been more batting friendly, sometime favour pace bowling, Turner reckons they can’t be compared to those in New Zealand.
“Although it seems that in more recent times, pitches in India can assist seam bowling, they still can’t be compared to conditions in New Zealand. This was exposed when India last toured New Zealand,” he said.
“English conditions are generally closer to those in New Zealand,” he added.
India last played a Test in February this year against England at home.
On the other hand, New Zealand are currently playing in a two-Test series against England and thus expected to be better prepared for the WTC Final.