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'You can see common sense in their planning and strategy': Salman Butt on WTC finalists India and New Zealand strengths

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt explained why New Zealand and India managed to reach the WTC final and what makes them so successful.
File Photos of Kane Williamson, Salman Butt (left) and Virat Kohli.(HT Collage)
Published on Jun 06, 2021 11:42 AM IST

Only 12 days to go before Virat Kohli-led Team India takes on Kane Williamson's New Zealand in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The summit clash, beginning on June 18, will bring down the curtains on a tournament that has lasted for over two years.

If a team manages to reach a final of a two-year-long tournament, it is obvious that the players showed consistency and a high level of skill over a long period of time. At the international level full of superstars and powerhouses, the results speak for themselves. No wonder, the last game will be a direct showdown between the world's top Test side (India) and World No. 2 New Zealand.

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So, what makes the two teams so successful, and what makes their foundation so strong?

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt attempted to answer the question while speaking during a show on his YouTube channel. When asked by his co-host about how these teams have managed to lay such a strong foundation, Butt remarked that he sees common sense, game awareness, proper application, and years of hard work.

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"Their basic application towards the game is very strong. The game awareness of their players across all the formats is extremely strong, they are very alert to the situation. They also pay a lot of attention to detail, they know exactly what to do when. You can see common sense in their planning and strategy. In Test cricket, when there is a need to dig in, they also score 20 runs in 100 balls. When there is a need to score quickly, they are scoring quickly," Butt said on his YouTube channel.

Southpaw Butt further stated that their success has a lot to do with their toil in the domestic circuit, something he has emphasized repeatedly.

"In reality, such understanding and command of the game don't come easy. It comes when you spend years playing first-class cricket and that is where you learn the skill. It comes after playing four-day cricket, something we are tired of propagating and hoping somebody understands the point," Butt concluded.

The Indian team is currently under quarantine. The entire contingent, including the support and coaching staff, and the women's team, checked in at the Hilton Hotel on June 3. The hotel is located on the premises of the Ageas Bowl, the venue for the grand finale.

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