India skipper Virat Kohli will be vulnerable against New Zealand in the World Test Championship final if conditions in Southampton aid swing and seam bowling, said former New Zealand captain and coach Glenn Turner.
“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,” the former opener Turner, who was the first batsman to hit a 150-plus score in ODIs, was quoted as saying by The Telegraph newspaper.
“Once again, conditions are going to be pivotal. 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 English conditions are generally closer 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.”
India last toured New Zealand in 2020 for a series in which they played two Test matches. The Virat Kohli-led India team lost both the Tests as batsmen struggled to handle the Kiwi bowling attack.
Kohli struggled, aggregating just 38 runs across four innings at an average of 9.5.
The tour proved to be miserable for the India batsmen.
India’s best batsman on that tour was Mayank Agarwal, who averaged 25.5 while Cheteshwar Pujara had an average of 25.
Earlier, former Australia pace bowler Brett Lee too had said New Zealand carry minor advantage due to conditions in England being similar to those in New Zealand.
“I am thinking though with the experience of New Zealand because they have bowled in conditions which are similar back home, you talk about the ball moving around, you talk about something in the wicket, there will be a bit of something, it may be conducive to fast bowling, to swing bowling. So that is where I think that the Kiwis might have an advantage purely from that fact,” Lee had said in an interview with the International Cricket Council (ICC).