Former Indian coach Ajit Agarkar believes India will have its work cut out for it in the upcoming World Trials final against New Zealand, which boasts a powerful attack of pace always poised to thrive in familiar English conditions.
The long-awaited match will take place in Southampton from June 18-22.
Speaking on Star Sports’ GAME PLAN show, Agarkar highlighted the challenges India could face against the Kiwis.
“This (New Zealand pace attack) definitely has a lot of variety. I mean it’s because you look at someone like (Kyle) Jamieson who’s a tall guy and will pose a different challenge, ”Agarkar said.
He went on to praise the seasoned New Zealand rhythm duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee in addition to Neil Wagner, who has the ability to surprise with his speed.
“Boult and Southee will both be playing, one delivery coming into you, one delivery going away from you, as a right-hander. And then (Neil) Wagner, when nothing’s going on, and you know, everything looks flat, he comes in and does something and does it regularly. So the challenges are a bit different.
Agarkar is aware that the conditions of the Ageas Bowl will be more familiar to New Zealanders.
“Also, what works in their favor is the condition, because you play in England, it’s almost like what you get in New Zealand. It makes things a little easier with this swinging Duke ball. There are therefore many challenges.
“Especially since India hasn’t had any cricket tests lately, not a home cricket test since the Australia tour. Australian conditions are completely different. So this is the biggest challenge. And that’s why I think the preparations (must) be the key, ”he said.
India have recorded incredible triumphs in the test series in Australia and against England at home, making their authority one of the best teams in the world at the moment.
Considering their performances in recent years, Agarkar said that India’s strength lies in its ability to win with different players.
“I’m thinking of a couple of things, resilience or just belief in your abilities or your own team. Watch the English series at home, we expected India to win.
“Yes, the conditions are suitable for their wicket (India) or their bowling spinning, but they lost the first test overall. They came back and beat England very well in the next three tests, ”said Agarkar.
“Look at Australia (streak), they (India) lost that first test, fought for what 36 – losing the host of your first team players, be it your best team batsman , Virat Kohli, your best bowler on the team, Mohammad Shami, those kind of losses.
“At the end of the series you had a Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan, Mohammad Siraj bowling for you, against a full Australian team and you still managed to find a way to win in those situations. So the depth of this team – even though there wasn’t a lot of experience – the guys who came in had enough conviction that they could show up. This is the strength of India.