Cricket: World Test Championship final - Does new venue suit Blackcaps or India

With the World Test Championship shifting from Lord's in London to Southampton's Rose Bowl, Kiwi cricket fans are anxious as to who the new venue favours more.

The Blackcaps and India will do battle for the World Test Championship in June's final, in the culmination of the inaugural competition. 

But Southampton is not a venue many of the test squad are used to, with New Zealand not having played a red-ball match at the venue, so for vice-captain Tom Latham there is much work to do ahead of the match.

"I don't think we've played test cricket in England for a long time, so for us it will be about adapting to conditions again," Latham tells Newshub.

Although Lord's was the scheduled venue, speculation has been rife for some time the game would be shifted.

With London being one of the COVID-19 epicentres of Europe, travelling sports teams are an unwanted attraction. 

"Most of us probably knew it wasn't going to be at Lords with everything that's going on at the moment," says middle-order batsman Henry Nicholls. 

The Rose Bowl ticks a lot of boxes from a safety point of view.

There is a hotel on-site, which allows players to stay in their bubbles and train as a team together.

But will the wicket favour India or New Zealand?

The Indians have just completed a dominant 3-1 test series win against England at home, on wickets best described as dust bowls.

Armed with spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, anything resembling a spin-friendly wicket would be enough for the Indians to lick their lips with glee.

But history suggests the Blackcaps may have an edge. 

In the six tests played at the Rose Bowl, just two five-wicket bags have been taken by a spinner - both by England's Moeen Ali in late July and August conditions.

Just one of those six tests took place in June. That match between England and Sri Lanka saw 25 wickets fall with just two of them to spin. 

Cricket: World Test Championship final - Does new venue suit Blackcaps or India
Cricket: World Test Championship final - Does new venue suit Blackcaps or India

But the loss of Lord's as a venue also rules out the chance for the side to bury the demons of 2019 and that Cricket World Cup final against the hosts.

"Oh look it would always be nice to turn up there and win some silverware, but obviously it's two different formats  - this group is slightly different and it was a long time ago," says Latham.