India have a few choices to make
The first World Test Championship final will be played between the top two ranked ICC Test teams, India and New Zealand in Southampton from June 18. While New Zealand qualified for the finals first, India made it to the finals after a series win at home against England.
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What is India’s squad for the World Test Championship final?
India have named a 25-man touring party (20 in the main squad and five as reserves) for the World Test Championship final and the England series after that.
India squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
What India’s final XI could look like?
India have most of their Test XI pretty much set. However, there are a few choices they will have to make if all of the 20 players in the main squad are fit and raring to go.
Who opens the batting?
While Rohit Sharma is certain to take one spot, his partner could be any of Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill or KL Rahul. Gill is the frontrunner to the post, having done well in Australia. He, however, had an average series against England at home. Rahul, fitness permitting, is another in contention with Mayank.
Ashwin or Jadeja or both?
There is uncertainty over who India’s first-choice overseas spinner is, especially with Jadeja’s batting stocks rising in the last couple of years. Ashwin, though, is one of the leading spinners in the world. They might ponder unleashing the duo together with three pacers in the WTC final.
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Which three fast bowlers play?
India have an abundance of options in the fast bowling department with Jasprit Bumrah a certainty. Two of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are set to play with Siraj the bolter trying to jump the pecking order ahead of the other two names. However, India like familiarity in this format and could stick to the known overseas options.
India’s likely playing XI
Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
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