New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss on Saturday and opted to bowl against India in the final of the inaugural World Test Championship at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton. India kept their playing XI unchanged despite change in conditions at the venue owing to incessant rain on Day 1.
The conditions at the Ageas Bowl have however tempted New Zealand to pick an all-seam attack, hence dropping Ajaz Patel, who was the only spinner in the WTC squad.
"We'll bowl first. Conditions, with the weather around, hopefully we can make the most of it. Saying that, wicket will be consistent throughout the game going by the cool weather. Have gone for four frontline seamers. No spinner. Great occasion and great challenge against the best team in the world. First time a WTC final, guys are really excited. A big player for us and a real leader within our group (Watling). Great occasion for him playing his last game. Great to be in this position. Two years trying to qualify - for us, we're fortunate to be here," said Williamson after winning the toss.
Virat Kohli too would have enjoyed bowling first but has backed his batting lineup to come strong against the Kiwi attack.
"We would've probably bowled first as well. But runs on the board has been our strength. In a big final, runs on the board, however many, are an advantage. As you saw the makeup of our side, the balance is such that we prepare for any conditions. We've been performing really well in Test cricket. For us this is just a Test match we have to be professional in, have to follow our processes," said Kohli.