“Shane Warne did not recommend which spinner New Zealand should have picked” in the WTC Final. – Salman Butt


Former Pakistan opener Salman Butt believes that selecting an all-pace attack for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India in Southampton played to New Zealand’s strengths. Butt claims that the Black Caps made their decision based on the conditions as well as the fact that India is a terrific spinner.

Shane Warne, an Australian icon, has previously expressed his disgust with New Zealand’s choice to play the WTC final without a spinner. Later in the game, Warne claimed that the Southampton pitch would offer turn.

Butt remarked on his YouTube channel that New Zealand does not have a quality spinner in the team to face India in the World T20 final. He elaborated:

“The ball call spin even if there is moisture on the pitch. Teams that have quality spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja can utilize the conditions and pick wickets. New Zealand do not have a world-class spinner and, secondly, India plays spin very well. So New Zealand must have taken both factors into consideration.

“Shane Warne expressed his disapproval over Black Caps’ decision to not play any spinner in the WTC final. But, he also did not suggest which spinner New Zealand should have picked. Should they have played Ajaz Patel? Mitchell Santner’s form has been so poor that he wasn’t even picked in the 15-member squad for the WTC final. Against Pakistan as well, he dismissed tailenders and not proper batsmen. The way India dominates spinners, they could have taken 60-70 runs off Santner’s 10 overs. New Zealand stuck to their strengths, so did Team India,” Butt added.

New Zealand do not have spinners who can exploit the rough in the WTC final: Salman Butt

Warne noted that enormous foot marks are already emerging on the Southampton pitch in a tweet after New Zealand confirmed their starting XI. Butt reacted to the statement by saying:

“Good spinners can make use of the footmarks, but New Zealand do not have spinners who can exploit the rough. I really don’t know which spinner Warne was referring to when he said that New Zealand should have picked a spinner. But Warne is a legendary spin bowler, so he must have thought something. However, for me, New Zealand thought it was too big a risk to play with a slow bowler against a strong Indian batting line-up.”

India were 146 for 3 at the close of Day 2 of the World T20 final, with Virat Kohli unbroken on 44 and Ajinkya Rahane on 29. Kyle Jamieson was the most effective bowler for New Zealand, taking 1 for 14 in 14 overs.

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