Dubai: The World Test Championship final throws up some interesting subplots, which will have a larger bearing on the outcome of the result. Gulf News takes a look at the two key contests, between nemesis Virat Kohli and Pat Cummins and Steve Smith and Ravindra Jadeja, that will make the plot more interesting.
Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins
King Kohli has returned to his best and has been adopting a matured approach that he has acquired over the years. The prolonged slump has taught the former Indian captain a few vital lessons that has made him an even more dangerous batter. Kohli will have a point to prove on the big stage, which he did during India’s World Cup campaign in Australia. However, Australian skipper Cummins has many similarities like England great James Anderson, who likes to probe just outside the off stump and bring the slips into play. The English conditions will make Cummins more potent and in the absence of Josh Hazlewood he will be also relying heavily on Mitchell Starc to play the supporting role. The 30-year-old Cummins had led Australia’s attack during the 2-2 draw in the 2019 Ashes series claiming 29 wickets in five matches. Cummins has dismissed Kohli five times in 10 Tests, second only to James Anderson, who has dismissed Kohli a record seven times.
Ravindra Jadeja and Steve Smith
Steve Smith has had pleasant memories in England during the previous Ashes tour and the star Australian batter, in a move to get ready for the World Test Championship final and the Ashes, has been playing for Sussex in the County Championship. Great players make technical adjustments during the course of their knocks. Both Kohli and Smith have done it in the past, but Smith does it more often and one such change was touted as one of the key reasons for the 34-year-old to score those 774 runs during the last Ashes series. But Smith will be wary of Ravindra Jadeja, who has dismissed the Australian seven times so far in 17 innings. Jadeja will be a big threat for the Australians, especially on a wearing pitch, where he could extract more bounce and turn. How Smith, who is a good player of spin and likes to use his feet against them, tackles Jadeja will be the talking point as the days unfold.