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SportCricketICC should open a window for WTC: SL Venkatapathy Raju

ICC should open a window for WTC: SL Venkatapathy Raju

Published: 16th Jun 2021 11:29 pm

Hyderabad: Barring the fickle English weather where there is a forecast of rain, the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand is all set for a grand start amid the Covid-19 pandemic at Southampton from Friday.

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Former Test left-arm spinner SL Venkatapathy Raju is palpably excited. “I belong to the old school and so this WTC final infuses that extra excitement. It took these many years for ICC to launch this novel concept. There is charm in white-dress and red-ball cricket. I would say this is the start of a new era. The ICC should open a window for WTC as they are doing for one-dayers and T20 formats. Henceforth, it should be a regular programme and accordingly ICC should accommodate in its Future Tour Programmes (FTP),” said Raju, who played in 28 Tests and 53 ODIs.

All eyes will be on Friday when two captains (Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson) go out for a toss. “There was always a notion in the past when captains winning the toss would opt to field first to exploit the moisture and morning conditions. Of late, there is a change in that trend and some teams are opting to bat first. It always depends on the conditions like the weather (cloudy), grass, moisture and the attack. For India, grass doesn’t matter as they have a lethal combination in (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohd) Shami and Ishant (Sharma). They are experienced to exploit the conditions. They only should be aware of the length.”

“New Zealand, too, have a lively pace attack of (Trent) Boult, (Neil) Wagner, Tim Southee, who can be handful on helpful conditions as they swing the ball late. For India, Rohit Sharma, who has a brilliant record here in England in ODI format, should stay at the wicket. The morning session is all about holding your nerves because of the swing. The beauty of Test cricket is that fortunes keep changing in each session,” added Raju.

Raju pointed out the batsman needs to have technique and patience in England. “Good feet movement and tight technique are important. The Indian batting will revolve around Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. If these two succeed, India can put up a big total. Kohli had a good tour of England last time. He loves challenges.”

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has a lead role to play in this series, according to Raju. “He is our main spinner. Here is a good chance to silence his critics. He is a seasoned campaigner and he can deliver the goods along with Ravinder Jadeja.”


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