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Kiwis happy with ideal build-up for WTC final against India

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor said on Tuesday that his side’s preparations for the inaugural World Test Championship final had been “ideal” after a morale-boosting series win against England.

The Black Caps are full of confidence after beating Joe Root’s men 1-0 in the two-match series while Virat Kohli’s team last played a competitive game at the end of March.

India’s players have had to settle for an intra-squad practice game after undergoing quarantine both at home and in England as part of coronavirus protocols. The World Test Championship (WTC) final, taking place from Friday in Southampton, on the south coast of England, comes after two years of Test series to determine the finalists.

Taylor, 37, said New Zealand had benefited from playing in England before facing India.

“Ideal preparation, having two Test matches against England in these conditions,” said Taylor. “I think we’re very lucky that our CEO managed to get these matches and obviously the guys gained some match preparation in these conditions. Couldn’t think of anything better.”

But the 37-year-old, a veteran of 107 Tests, played down any potential psychological advantage for New Zealand. “I think it probably gives our players a little bit more confidence but India have got a very balanced (squad) and their depth has been amazing,” he said.

New Zealand reclaimed the world No 1 Test ranking from India after their series win against England but Taylor said Kohli’s side were long-established as the team to beat.

“India have been the world No 1 side and kept that bar very high for a long period of time that everyone around the world has had to try and catch up to,” he said.


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