Former England spinner Monty Panesar has said that Ravichandran Ashwin could hold the key for India when they lock horns with New Zealand in the upcoming final of the inaugural World Test Championship, starting on June 18.
Panesar pointed out that the Kiwi batting line-up is studded with left-handers and the veteran India off-spinner has an impressive record against the left-handed batsmen in the longest format of the game.
Earlier this year, Ashwin became the first bowler in the history of Test cricket to dismiss 200 left-handed batsmen.
The 39-year-old also predicted that the Chennai-born spinner will emerge as the match-winner for Kohli & Co. in the summit clash against Kane Williamson-led side.
“I think New Zealand is quite a good team and Conway had a great game against England. They have got few left-handers in there so I am sure Ashwin will probably be the first-choice spinner,” Panesar told ANI.
“With the weather around and so many left-handers in the New Zealand squad, Ashwin could be the match-winner in this final. The difference is going to be him for India,” he added.
Furthermore, Panesar reckoned that Tim Southee could pose some serious threats for Indian batsmen in the highly-anticipated clash at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Lauding Southee’s bowling exploits, Panesar stated, “I think Tim Southee is performing well, he could be the difference for New Zealand.”