Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris feels India opener Rohit Sharma might find it difficult to negotiate the swinging ball during the World Test Championship final against the Kiwis, beginning in Southampton on June 18. Head groundsman at Southampton, Simon Lee has made it clear that they are aiming to produce a fast and bouncy pitch, and Styris believes it can spell trouble for Rohit.

“It is pitch dependent… I think I can’t stress that enough. I think if the ball is moving around then Rohit will have his struggles…,” Styris said during Star Sports’ show ‘Game Plan’. “Rohit doesn’t really moves his feet a lot early in his innings. If that’s the case, then the swinging ball could be a problem for him.” Styris also highlighted New Zealand’s pace attack and singled out Neil Wagner’s role in the mix.

“There is no secret to New Zealand’s fast bowling plan if you like and that is Southee, Boult and either Jamieson or de Grandhomme will be the third seamer and they bowled till about the 22nd to 28th over with a new ball,” he said. “And then Neil Wagner comes into the equation. So, when you talk about Wagner, it’s his ability to be aggressive and be a genuine wicket-taking option for somebody like (Virat) Kohli in those middle overs till the new ball comes around.”

India will have their task cut out as they hardly had any time to train ahead of the final and New Zealand are coming into the match after a rare Test series win in England. Former India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel says Kohli might need to give himself sometime and take inspiration from his run in the 2018 tour of England.

“I think probably he will have to give himself a bit of time and try to think what he did in 2018 — where he got number of hundreds,” Parthiv said. “So, probably he is better equipped than what he was in 2014, but there will be challenges and there will be challenges of variety of fast bowlers. Reason being — it is not a one-dimensional fast bowling attack.