Former Australia captain Aaron Finch feels Australia will have to pay special attention to Test powerhouse Cheteshwar Pujara and the currently in-form Virat Kohli when they face India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval, starting June 7. On the flip side, Finch feels that in order to establish a strong hold on the Test match, India will need to dismiss the experienced Test stalwarts Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne early. Pujara has been playing for Sussex in the English County Championship and is perhaps the best suited, amongst the Indian squad, to exploit the conditions.
Aaron Finch on Team India’s Powerhouse in WTC Final
Former Australia captain Aaron Finch believes that Australia will need to allocate significant resources to contain the formidable Test batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and the currently exceptional-form Virat Kohli during their upcoming clash against India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, scheduled to commence on June 7 at The Oval. Finch emphasizes the importance of formulating specific strategies to counter these two Indian stalwarts, acknowledging the significant impact they can have on the outcome of the match.
Finch recognizes the exceptional skill set possessed by Cheteshwar Pujara, renowned for his tenacious batting style and his ability to grind down the opposition’s bowling attack. With his steadfast technique and unwavering focus, Pujara has consistently proven to be a formidable obstacle for opposing teams, capable of batting for long durations and accumulating substantial runs. Finch stresses the necessity for the Australian team to devise effective plans to nullify Pujara’s impact and find a way to dismiss him early, in order to gain an advantage in the match.
Aaron Finch on Team Australia’s Powerhouse in WTC Final
On the contrary, Aaron Finch believes that in order for India to establish a commanding position in the Test match, they will have to dismiss the seasoned Test stalwarts Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne early in their innings. Finch recognizes the immense talent and resilience possessed by both Smith and Labuschagne, making them formidable obstacles for any bowling attack.
Firstly, Finch emphasizes the importance of targeting Steve Smith, who holds the reputation of being one of the world’s premier Test batsmen. Smith’s unorthodox technique and ability to effortlessly maneuver the fielders with his wide range of strokes have consistently troubled bowlers around the world. His remarkable consistency and unwavering concentration make him a significant threat. Finch suggests that India’s bowlers should devise plans to challenge Smith’s unorthodox style and exploit any potential vulnerabilities to gain an upper hand in the match.
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Team Australia’s Preparations
The official withdrawal of Josh Hazlewood from the WTC Final dealt a blow to the Australian team. Hazlewood’s recovery in time for the Ashes, which begin on June 16, is what the Australian team is wishing for.
However, the Australians still have fast bowlers like Mitchell Starc and captain Pat Cummins despite losing Hazlewood. Overall, it’s challenging to determine which team is the stronger man for man. However, some experts believe the Australians have the upper hand because of the unpredictable weather in England and the fact that, with the exception of Cameron Green and David Warner, the majority of their players will be more rested.
Marnus Labuschagne has also been actively playing competitive cricket with Glamorgan in the County Championship, ensuring he is well-prepared for the conditions at the Oval.
Expecting A thrilling Final
India and Australia have played each other in 106 Test matches overall. India has won 32 games, Australia has won 44, 29 games have finished in draws, and one game ended in a tie. Team India similarly dominated the last two Test series (Border-Gavaskar Trophy) against Australia in Australia. Finch anticipates a thrilling contest in the championship match, with the WTC final set to commence on June 7.