India, Tim Paine

Australian Test skipper Tim Paine has backed Team India to register a comfortable win over New Zealand in the upcoming World Test Championship final if the Virat Kohli-led side plays to the best of their abilities.

Australia have come up against both India and New Zealand in the recent past. While the Baggy Greens thrashed the Kiwis 3-0 in the 2019-20 series, they lost 1-2 to India in the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar Trophy.

Weighing in on who would come out triumphant in the marquee clash, the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman said: “My prediction is, India will win pretty comfortably if they play anywhere near their best.

The 36-year-old also suggested that New Zealand didn’t defeat a full-strength England team in the recent two-match Test series, with the hosts missing key players such as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, and Moeen Ali.

“I think New Zealand are a good team, for one, and secondly, if we’re being realistic I think it’s a really different team that we saw England out on the field to what we’re probably going to see in the Ashes… keeping it in perspective it certainly wasn’t England’s strongest team,” Tim Paine added.

The Blackcaps, following their win over England, overtook Team India to regain the top spot in the ICC Test rankings. The WTC Final will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton between June 18-22.

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