London, Jun 1 (IANS): Former captain Aaron Finch feels that the key to handling talismanic batters Virat Kohli and Steve Smith would be to get them out as early as possible in the upcoming World Test Championship final between India and Australia at The Oval from June 7-11.
Kohli came back into his groove in Test cricket with a fine 186 in the fourth match against Australia at Ahmedabad in March. Smith, on the other hand, has an excellent record at The Oval, scoring 391 runs in three matches at an average of 97.75 with two centuries.
"Both (Kohli and Smith are) batting at number four, so the key is to try and get them as early as possible, early wickets to expose them to the brand new ball will be absolutely key. I will always side with Steve Smith, I think his record is outstanding, but it will be a very good contest," Finch was quoted as saying by Star Sports.
The marquee 2023 WTC final will also be the first time Australia and India will play Test cricket in a neutral venue as they hope to clinch the coveted mace given to the winning team of the title clash.
India will also be appearing in the WTC final for the second straight time after losing to New Zealand by eight wickets in the finale of the inaugural edition of the tournament at Southampton in 2021.
"I think the rivalry is held in such high regard in both countries, that I think it brings out the best in both teams. Obviously, India has had the better of Australia in the last three series I think, so both teams will rise to the occasion no matter where it's played, at home or away or this time at neutral territory. It's just a must watch thing," added Finch.
While Australia have won just seven Test matches out of the 38 they have played at The Oval, India have managed just two victories out of 14 times they have played at this venue.