Posted 4 months ago

Cricket General

India’s XI for the World Test Championship 2021-23 final.

India’s XI for the World Test Championship 2021-23 final.
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India’s XI for the World Test Championship 2021-23 final.

India and Australia are set to face each other in ICC World Test Championship final, which will take place next month. 

ICC World Test Championship final is scheduled to be played from June 7-11. The venue of the encounter is The Oval in London, England.

Rohit Sharma and Pat Cummins are the skippers of India and Australia respectively in the WTC final.

Both are strong teams and a highly nail-biting and thrilling encounter is expected to entertain fans.

Earlier, Pat Cummins' side surrendered the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2-1 series earlier this year but have the chance to gain some revenge when they take on the same side in the one-off Test at The Oval on June 7.

While India was the better side for the majority of the four-Test series that finished in March, Australia claimed vital momentum heading into the World Test Championship final when they claimed victory in the third Test in Indore and managed to salvage a draw in the series finale in Ahmedabad.

The conditions both sides will face at The Oval are expected to be vastly different from what they experienced in India, with spin likely to be less of a factor and seamers tipped to prosper.

The Indian selectors have decided to name a 15-member touring party with a host of tried and trusted performers available at the disposal of Rahul Dravid and Co. Skipper Rohit Sharma can call up on a number of proven batters, effective pacers, and world-class spinners when it comes to making a final call on the playing XI.

Here we take a look at the XI who are most likely to make the cut: 

India squad for WTC 2021-23 final: 

Rohit Sharma (c), KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat. 

Rohit Sharma (C)

Rohit Sharma is the skipper of India in the WTC final and will lead the team in the match as well. 

He will also be the opener for the team. Sharma showed a brilliant performance in the previous Test series against Australia at home, smashing a century in one game. This year, Sharma has held an average of 40+ in Tests.

Rohit enjoyed a fruitful campaign when India last toured England 2021-22, aggregating 368 runs in 4 Test matches at an average of 52.57. 

He has also been one of India's most consistent performers in the WTC23 cycle, notching up 700 runs and the Indian team management will hope for one final big push from him to clinch the coveted mace. 

Cheteshwar Pujara

After being dropped from the squad, Cheteshwar Pujara made a comeback into the Indian Test side for the rescheduled fifth Test against England in 2022 on the back of strong performances in County cricket. 

His vast experience in England ensures that India will look to him to anchor India's batting department against Australia's attack at The Oval. 

Pujara has been India's top batter in the current World Test Championship cycle, scoring 887 runs in 16 games. He has also featured in 15 Tests in England, scoring 829 runs. 

Virat Kohli 

Virat Kohli will be a middle-order batsman for India in ICC World Test Championship final. Like Gill, Kohli also owns a fantastic batting form since the beginning of 2023.

The right-handed batsman smacked 2 centuries in ODIs and in Tests this year.

In IPL 2023 too, Kohli shattered 2 centuries. With such magnificent form, he will be a crucial batter for India against the Aussies.

Kohli has an enviable record in Test cricket against Australia, with 1979 runs in 24 Tests, including 8 tons. In the current World Test Championship cycle, Kohli has notched up 869 runs in 16 games. 

Ajinkya Rahane

It has been a stellar comeback for Ajinkya Rahane who has been out of the spotlight, having last featured in a Test for India in January 2022.

Ajinkya Rahane might be picked in the middle-order. India is short of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in the WTC final due to injuries. 

As a result, Rahane is the best choice of a middle-order batter due to his long experience in Tests. Rahane showed good form in Ranji Trophy 2022-23 and IPL 2023.

His 209 runs in 5 matches (stats as of April 25) has seen him jump back into the reckoning and seal a spot in the final squad. Shreyas Iyer's back injury further strengthened his case for selection. 

Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja has evolved into one of the premier all-rounders in Test cricket and will be an automatic selection in the Indian XI.

Jadeja has become one of India's key batters in their setup and has a Test century to his name in England when India last visited the country. He will also play a crucial role, being the only left-handed batter in India's top seven. 

In the current World Test Championship cycle, Jadeja has scored 673 runs and picked up 43 wickets. 

KS Bharat (wk)

KS Bharat will be the wicketkeeper for India in ICC World Test Championship final. Players like Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul are not available and hence, Bharat is the best wicketkeeper that the team can field in the match.

In 4 Tests, Bharat has 101 runs and 8 dismissals. 

But India are unlikely to take a risk with a part-time keeper behind the stumps on such a huge occasion, with Bharat likely to make the cut. 

Mohammad Shami

In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami will become the leader of the attack and take the new ball. 

Shami is now a veteran of the Indian side and has plenty of Test match experience in England, having featured in 13 Tests and picked up 38 wickets. 

In IPL 2023 too, he is the purple cap holder with the most wickets ahead of the final. 

In 3 Tests this year, Shami grabbed 9 wickets at an average of 28.22.

Shami has also delivered the goods in the current World Test Championship cycle, scalping 41 wickets in 12 games. 



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