WTC Last: Don’t Think India Would Underestimate New Zealand, They Don’t seem to be Underdogs, Says Ajit Agarkar

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Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar said India would not underestimate New Zealand in the last of the World Test Championship (WTC). India and New Zealand will play in the last of WTC at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton, from June 18-22. Prior to that, New Zealand will also play two-match Test series against England, beginning June 2 at Lord’s. “I’m hoping not. I don’t believe the Indian team would be guilty to underestimate the Kiwis. I think the underdog tag has gone absent from New Zealand,” Agarkar said. 

“Each ICC tournament you look at – okay, this is the first of its type, Test Championship – each ICC tournament, if it is the T20 World Cup, the Champions Trophy, the World Cup; they all the time turn up, they are all the time there in the thereabout,” said Agarkar on Star Sports’ show ‘Cricket Connected’.

“Whether not the finals, then in the quarterfinals or the semi-finals. And that’s the reason a testimony to their consistency. So, the underdog tag must go. Yes, there are, maybe bigger names in one of the other teams and that is the reason why you count them as favorites.

“So, I don’t believe India will be underestimating them. They whip India comprehensively polite when India toured New Zealand and the conditions are likely to be similar to what India got in New Zealand. So, India must play polite to defeat New Zealand in this contest,” he added.

The Indian team will arrive in the United Kingdom on June 3, 2021 and all travelling members will be carrying evidence of a negative PCR Test, ICC said in an official release.

Prior to travelling, the party will have spent 14 days in a bio-secure surroundings in India all through which steady testing will have been done.

Upon touchdown, they are going to proceed directly to the on-site hotel at the Hampshire Bowl where they are going to be tested again before commencing a period of managed isolation.

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Steady tests will be conducted all through the period of isolation. Players’ activity will be allowed in a gradually increasing manner after every round of negative testing, moving from exercise in isolation to small group and then larger squad activity, whilst all the time remaining inside the bio-secure venue.

The New Zealand team is already in the United Kingdom ahead of their bilateral series against England and the team will transition from the ECB bio-secure surroundings into the World Test Championship Last bubble on June 15 and will be subject to steady testing prior to and post-arrival in Southampton.

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