WTC Final: Matthew Hayden reveals what could have given Australia major edge over India

The former opener said that Australia would have got a massive advantage over India if the WTC final was held at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. He added that The Oval in London – where the high-octane clash will be played from June 7 – will not support one particular side.

Unlike Lord’s, the surface at The Oval does not support the seamers as much. The bounce on the surface is more even and the batters are expected to have a good outing. Also, Oval is not known to help the spinners either.

“Australia would’ve had huge advantage at Lord’s but Oval will be 50-50. Hayden believes either side doesn’t enjoy an advantage going into the final but the IPL players from both teams would be well prepared. Majority of India’s squad members played in the IPL while only three from Australia were part of the two month long tournament,” Hayden told PTI in an interview.

“The Test championship puts context to Test cricket relevance. And you’ve got two of the greatest nations in cricket, head to head in India and Australia. Being at The Oval, it’s a good opportunity for it to be a venue which doesn’t necessarily favour one particular side or the other.

“It’s by tradition England’s bounciest, more even surfaces. It doesn’t favour the spinners, doesn’t really favour the seamers so it’s quite a neutral venue. It’s nice to see them playing in that venue in particular, had it been at the Lord’s, Australia would have had a huge advantage there,” he added.

Hayden backs IPL for WTC preparation

The Australian legend also said that IPL was a good platform to gear up for the high-pressure WTC final. He said the format does not matter and the more important thing was playing the game at the most competitive and high level.

He added that players playing in IPL might just have more advantage than those preparing by featuring in the ongoing County Championship 2023 matches. Notably, the likes of David Warner, Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh featured in the recently-concluded IPL 2023.

“Don’t pay too much mind to the preparation of either nation. I don’t sense that there’s a great disadvantage in playing IPL cricket as opposed to playing county cricket. The level is so extreme in high performance at IPL level. Take someone like Cameron Green for example. He’s had a bumper season for Mumbai Indians.”

“It’s a no-brainer whether he is playing here or whether he’s actually playing in county cricket or wherever. He’s exposed to the highest level of sport and if anything, I think there may be a slight advantage for the guys that have been playing that higher level (IPL).”

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