India’s ideal playing XI for the World Test Championship final

India have a couple of really tough calls to make for the World Test Championship final against Australia

(Cricket news) The World Test Championships final between India and Australia promises to be a highly competitive encounter. India are without the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. All of them have been ruled out due to injuries so India are nowhere near full strength. There is still a lot of quality and experience in this team. In recent times India has gotten the better of Australia in the longest format which is a massive advantage. A couple of choices will be somewhat tricky and based on the conditions while the rest of the XI picks itself.

India’s Ideal playing XI:

Openers Rohit Sharma & Shubman Gill

After KL Rahul was ruled out this was always going to be the opening pair. Rohit and Gill have opened the batting together a number of times. They did so in the last WTC final but this time they will want to do much better. Openers in English conditions are so crucial as they set the tone for the rest of the innings. If at all there is a last minute injury then Cheteshwar Pujara or Ishan Kishan can take the opening spot.

Middle order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane

Cheteshwar Pujara has been playing County cricket for the past month and he has been in good form. He will be the key for India in this game especially if an early wicket falls. Pujara ever since he came back after being dropped has added more shots to his book and has been attacking a little more. It will be interesting to see if he continues to do so. Virat Kohli scored his 28th Test and 76th international century against Australia. That was a flat pitch and this time around it will be completely different. 

Since then Kohli has had a pretty good IPL and is looking in good touch. It goes without saying that the former Indian skipper is an X factor and could single handedly win the game for India. Ajinkya Rahane has made a comeback into the side and he will return straight into the line-up. Ever since Shreyas Iyer’s injury Rahane was always going to be in the mix. He had a good domestic and was breathing fire in the IPL which helped. No matter what one thinks about Rahane, his track record in overseas conditions especially in England is a good one. 

All-rounder: Ravindra Jadeja

There is a talk about Ashwin playing ahead of Jadeja because of the left handers in Australia but all that doesn’t make sense. Jadeja is undroppable at this stage in terms of both batting and bowling. Along with Rishabh Pant, he has been India’s most consistent red batter. His bowling has also been incredible and he is coming into this game high on confidence. Jadeja may be bumped up the order to get a left hander into the mix as he is the only option.

Wicketkeeper: KS Bharat

Had KL Rahul been fit then he may have been the choice to keep wickets. Now that he is not there KS Bharat will get another opportunity. In the Border Gavaskar trophy, Bharat wasn’t too impressive with the bat or the gloves but those were tough conditions. There is a chance that Ishan Kishan plays but Bharat deserves a chance as Kishan hasn’t done a lot to earn a Test cap yet. What Kishan would bring is his attacking game as a left hander much like Rishabh Pant but Bharat is higher in the pecking order.

Bowling all-rounder: Shardul Thakur

This is perhaps the toughest choice to make and it all depends on the conditions. Last time India played both Ashwin and Jadeja which turned out to be a massive error. Shardul should get the nod because 4 seamers are always beneficial in English conditions. Shardul is also a proven batter in these conditions which is an added advantage.

Seamers: Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj & Umesh Yadav

Shami and Siraj pick themselves as both have been in incredible form in all formats of the game. The third choice is a tricky one but Umesh Yadav should get the nod. His ability to swing the new and the old ball is very beneficial in English conditions. Jaydev Unadkat does bring in variety with his left arm pace but he doesn’t have much international experience. The outside the box option will be to play both Ashwin and Shardul Thakur but that would mean a serious lack of pace in the Indian attack.

Bench: Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Axar Patel, Jaydev Unadakt,

Reserves: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Mukesh Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav

Also read: Josh Hazelwood’s injury gives India a massive advantage


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