NEW DELHI (Reuters) – New Zealand must believe in themselves if they are to make it third time lucky at a global tournament and defeat India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final, former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee said.
New Zealand reached the finals of the last two 50-overs World Cups but fell short on both occasions. Their defeat in the 2019 final was particularly hard to swallow as they lost to England via the boundary-count rule after the match had ended in a tie even after a Super Over.
Lee said the final of the inaugural WTC, at Southampton from June 18, was probably an even better chance for New Zealand to win a world title.
“If you have not been able to lift that trophy, and you have not won that series, or you have not won that World Cup, you have come so close, it can play on your mind,” Lee told the International Cricket Council website.
“I think for someone like New Zealand and Kane Williamson, they have just got to believe in themselves. And believe in their defence in terms of their batters, their top-five, and believe that they can win it.
“I think this has probably been the best opportunity … they’ve got a great side, and they are playing in conditions that might suit them.”
The former speedster said the sides were evenly matched in the batting department but in conditions where the ball was expected to swing New Zealand would probably hold the edge.
“Now from a batting point of view, both sides have got batsmen that can play against swing bowling. But I think it comes down to bowling,” added the 44-year-old.
“I think whichever team bowls best will win the final.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)