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How to watch, what to watch for in World Test Championship final

Here’s what cricket fans and bettors should look for when India meets New Zealand for the WTC final.

New Zealand v India - First Test: Day 4
Virat Kohli of India and Kane Williamson of New Zealand shake hands at the conclusion of day four of the First Test match between New Zealand and India at Basin Reserve on February 24, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Despite being reduced significantly by a pandemic, the inaugural World Test Championship will conclude with India meeting New Zealand in the final. The two sides separated themselves from the rest of the competition over a two-year period to emerge as the best in the world. Here’s how fans and bettors can tune in to the action.

How to watch World Test Championship Final

Teams: India and New Zealand
Date: June 18-22 (June 23 is scheduled to be a reserve day if time is lost)
Time: 7:30 AM ET
TV/livestream: ESPN+, Hotstar

India is the slimmest of favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, installed at +150 on the moneyline to New Zealand at +160. A tie is +270. In the lead-up to the match, many would’ve favored India, and New Zealand’s recent Test performances against England ahead of the final likely kept the line close.

The two sides met in New Zealand for two Tests as part of the WTC circuit in February and March 2020. The home team won both matches in convincing fashion, but India’s team has undergone significant changes since that time and will also be a full strength. The visitors had injury issues during the New Zealand tour.

What to watch for in World Test Championship final

There’s no ignoring the two superstars in this match; India’s Virat Kohli and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson. The former is widely considered the best player in the world, while the latter is easily New Zealand’s most accomplished cricketer. Both are part of a skilled batting group dubbed “The Fab Four” and will be instrumental to their sides.

Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson make up New Zealand’s bowling attack, arguably the best in the world. Playing conditions in England will favor the fast bowlers, meaning this quartet should be very successful in the final. Henry Nicholls has quietly risen in the ICC’s Test batsmen rankings and will be one to watch.

India’s younger players grew up fast during a 2-1 series win in Australia and will be ready to go in the final. It’ll be interesting to see how the team is balanced, but expect Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill to be the opening pair. Cheteshwar Pujara will need to complement Kohli for India to win this match. While conditions might not favor spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin always seem to deliver in big moments and will be counted on with the ball. Ravindra Jadeja is another versatile option for India.