The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) on Thursday evening declared India’s playing for the highly anticipated final of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Test Championship (WTC).
As per the playing XI announced by the BCCI, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will open the batting for India while skipper Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and vice captain Ajinkya Rahane will be part of the middle order. Explosive batsman Rishabh Pant will keep the wickets. On the other hand, the Indian team has selected the experienced trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
However, India has dropped pacer Mohammed Siraj from the playing XI. Though Siraj has impressed everyone at the international level with his ability to swing the ball both ways, cricket experts and pundits have said that the 27-year-old needs to wait for his chances as the trio of Ishant, Bumrah and Shami have performed tremendously in the past four years.
Meanwhile, team India has selected both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, which indicates that the pitch at Southampton might assist the spinners. Interestingly, several cricket pundits, including former India opener Sunil Gavaskar, had said that both Jadeja and Ashwin should play in the team.
“In Southampton, it’s been boiling hot over the last few days so the pitch will definitely be dry and help spin as the match progresses, so yes both Ashwin and Jadeja will play,” Gavaskar had told news agency PTI in an exclusive interview. “That (Ashwin and Jadeja together) also gives depth to the batting as well as give a fine balance to the bowling attack”.
The final of the inaugural ICC WTC final will be played between India and New Zealand at The Rose Bowl in Southampton from June 18 to 22.
Following is India’s playing XI for the ICC WTC Final 2021:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice captain), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah .