Former India cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar says the current team’s all-round abilities give them the edge over World Test Championship final opponents New Zealand.
The two sides will battle it out to be crowned the tournament’s inaugural champions after five days in Southampton, England, from 18 June.
The Black Caps beat India 2-0 when they last met in New Zealand, but Vengsarkar feels Virat Kohli's men are in a much better place ahead of this showdown.
That is also the opinion of the best Indian betting sites, which have made India the slight favourites to take the victory. They can be backed at 2.09 with 22Bet, while New Zealand are available at 2.25 and the draw at 6.0.
“If you compare the New Zealand team to the Indian team, man to man, India looks the better team,” Vengsarkar was quoted as saying to the Times.
“Of course, Trent Boult is a world-class bowler and Kane Williamson is a world-class batsman, but India is a more all-round team.
“We have got quality spinners (Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja), we have got quality fast bowlers (Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj) and quality batters as well.” he added.
Everyone Must Contribute
However, Vengsarkar, aged 65, also believes that India can’t rely on just a few players to shine if they want to come out on top.
He knows only too well what it takes to succeed in English conditions after he helped his country to a first victory at Lord’s in 1986.
Vengsarkar formed a key partnership with Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath in the 70s and 80s before becoming the BCCI’s chairman of selectors.
He is keen to avoid a repeat of the situation when India toured England back in 2018 when captain Kohli failed to find enough support from teammates. The skipper hit 593 runs in 10 innings that year but more contributions were needed.
“There are talented players in the (Indian) team. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, they are world-class cricketers. But it is also important for other players to chip in, you know, because you can't depend only on two players. If you are playing Test match cricket, everybody has to contribute,” he added.