WTC Final | New Zealand will have an edge; hype around the game missing, insists Sachin Tendulkar 

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Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has stated that New Zealand will enter the WTC final with an edge over India and also reckoned that the hype around the game is missing. He also added that continuity is lacking ahead of the finals, which isn’t the case in the white-ball ICC events.

New Zealand warmed up for the inaugural World Test Championship final against India with a series win over hosts England 1-0. The two-match Test series, ahead of the final, gave them the perfect game time in England conditions before they try to go one up on India and clinch the title. In comparison, most of the Indian players come into the final, having last played IPL that too, a while back. And this has led to many experts believing that New Zealand will have an edge when both sides lock horns from June 18 at the Ageas Bowl.

Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has admitted that New Zealand will have an edge over the Virat Kohli-led side going into the encounter given they played two Tests against England.

“This is, without any doubt, another way to look at it. New Zealand will have that slight edge because they’ve played the two Tests against England while India haven’t had practice matches except for playing between themselves,” Tendulkar told TOI.

Sachin Tendulkar wasn’t too impressed with the way the final has been scheduled as he reckoned that there isn’t much hype and build up around the big game.

“There were so many breaks due to the pandemic and the other challenges in the wake of it, because of which the hype and excitement of a final is missing. When a tournament goes on without a break – like a 50-over WC or a T20 WC – there’s a sense of continuity to it. There’s a build-up to these tournaments which is missing in this case,” he said.

The series between England and New Zealand wasn’t part of the WTC cycle. The Indian veteran feels that the series should have been played after the WTC final.

“I don’t know when the New Zealand vs England series was decided. I’d like to believe that it was decided way in advance, way before New Zealand booked their spot in the Final. Maybe it’s a coincidence. This England vs New Zealand series was not going to contribute to the WTC Final.. so maybe the WTC Final first and then this series (could have been staged).

Tendulkar, who remains the only cricketer to make 100 tons in international cricket, further added that continuity is missing in the WTC.

“Where’s the continuity? It should actually be a World Test Championship series, not just one match. Because to get to this point, you’ve played Test series involving two or three Tests or more. So, it shouldn’t have just been a World Test Championship Final but the World Test Championship Final Series. Because you’ve played series to get to this point,” said the former India batsman.

He signed off by saying that the WTC Final should be a series and it’s something that the ICC can work on going ahead.

“Maybe due to time constraints, this wasn’t possible. In that case what the ICC can do (going forward) is pick one particular match in a series – first or second or third or fourth, whichever – and the result of that one game should be allocated to the WTC points tally and the remaining matches can be purely bilateral. That way, one final can be justified. But if the filter is an entire series, then the WTC Final should also be a series,” he says.

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