London: New Zealand will have edge over India in World Test Championship (WTC) final due to conditions in Southampton being conducive to swing and seam bowling, said former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee. Lee added that team bowling better will eventually win WTC title.
“I think it is pretty evenly matched there (in batting). From a batting point of view, both sides have got batsmen that can play against swing bowling,” said Lee in an interview to International Cricket Council (ICC).
“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,” added Lee, who at his peak was one of the two fastest bowlers in world cricket alongside Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar.
The 44-year-old Lee, who played 76 Tests and picked 310 wickets, said the pitch at the neutral venue won’t be ‘super-fast’ but will have ‘enough for the bowlers’.
“I think the batsmen will generally be okay on the surface, but if they bowl well, whichever side bowls well, I think they will have the biggest impact,” he said further.
Lee said the biggest challenge will be to handle the Dukes ball which swings a lot.
“We know that when you go to England when you bowl with the Dukes ball, the ball does swing around. So guys that have bowled with the Dukes ball and have some good experience of bowling in swinging conditions like New Zealand, may be better suited to bowling with the Dukes ball,” said the 44-year-old Lee, who also played 221 One-day International matches and took 380 wickets.
“Because if you do not quite get the ball right, if you do not get the seam position correct, then the ball cannot swing around. And that is where you bowl a lot of wides and extras.”
Lee backed the concept of WTC final saying it brought an incentive to the longest format.
“There is a big prize of winning a 50-over World Cup or a T20, whichever you want to call it, but there is nothing for a Test match. You might get the number one Test ranking, which is great. But this is an opportunity now to find out, which is going to be the best team currently around the world,” he said.