New Delhi: Finalizing Team India’s playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, which is scheduled to begin at The Oval on June 7 can be a troubling task for the Indian captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid. The top five are almost probably settled after number 6 is where the confusion begins.
Rohit Sharma and company are currently practicing in London in preparation for their matchup with Australia. In the absence of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat provide the wicketkeeper option and it has caused confusion for India’s middle order. Rohit will also be confused between picking his aces Ashwin and Jadeja.
The Indian skipper would not like to repeat what happened in the previous WTC Final when they chose to field their best team possible with Jadeja and Ashwin despite the conditions and followed through on the cost because of the cloudy and damp conditions, an additional seamer was needed, but he wasn’t there to help Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, or Ishant Sharma.
Mohammad Kaif Settles Debate Over Team India’s Playing XI
Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has settled the debate with his verdict on the Indian playing 11. He believed Ishan Kishan will be the wicketkeeper with Ravindra Jadeja as the guaranteed spin-bowling all-rounder.
“For the World Test Championship, the openers should be Shubhman Gill and Rohit Sharma, followed by Pujara who plays at number three and has experience there. At number four would be Virat Kohli followed by Rahane who makes his return to the team. I would play Ishan Kishan over KS Bharat because you would want someone to play attacking shots at number six, because the ball is old and Rishabh Pant used to play that role. At seven, I will play Jadeja,” Kaif told Star Sports ahead of the WTC final.
“At eight I would either play Ashwin or Shardul, depending on the pitch conditions, and if the pitch suits spin then Ashwin can target the left-handed batsmen like Warner, Travis Head and Khawaja, so it will be a good match-up. I would take fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj followed by Umesh Yadav at number 11. This would be my preferred playing 11 because it’s early June, you will need three fast bowlers plus Jadeja and Ashwin or Shardul, depending on the forecast,” he added.