Dale Steyn has suggested that Team India might want to alter their playing XI despite announcing their team well in advance for the inaugural marquee World Test Championship final against New Zealand. Although India has gone in with two specialist spinners, Dale Steyn believes Virat Kohli’s team could include an extra seamer ahead of the toss today(the 2nd day).
New Zealand, meanwhile, is keeping their cards close to their chest as they are yet to announce their playing XI. In a press conference on Friday, Tom Latham stated that the Kiwi team management would have a look at the pitch before taking the final call on the team combination.
Dale Steyn: India Welcome If They Want To Change Previously Declared Team And Bring In An Extra Seamer
But Dale Steyn praised India’s approach as it showed that they are confident of getting a positive result in the summit clash against top-ranked Kiwis.
The South African pacer Dale Steyn said in an interaction with ESPNCricinfo: “I like what they (Team India) have done. They have come out and told the world, the team that they are going to go with. But they only have to hand in the team sheet at the toss so if they want to change their team and bring in an extra seamer, they are more than welcome to do that. They probably might even do that.”
Dale Steyn further added that India’s approach shows that they have a clear game plan heading into the WTC Final.
“It gives the players the opportunity to prepare and lets the opposition know that this team is ready. They have worked out how they are going to go about winning this Test match and they are putting it all out there.”
Team India fielding coach R Sridhar hinted that the side is keeping their options open of a possible change in the playing XI before the toss. However, he added that the playing XI India named could win any Test, irrespective of the conditions on offer.
Speaking at a press conference after Day 1 of the final was washed out, R. Sridhar stated: “The XI that was announced (previously) is a team that takes the pitch and conditions out of the equation. They can perform in any given weather conditions. Having said that, the toss is not yet over, so a decision on the final XI will be taken at the time of the toss if needed,”
Mohammed Siraj’s form in the Test series against Australia and England earlier this year might tempt the Indian team management to go in with an extra seamer. It remains to be seen what decision Team India will make when Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson turn up for the toss on the Day 2 of the WTC final. Play may be possible on the second day with weather conditions bright and sunny.
Incessant rain washed out the opening day of the much-anticipated World Test Championship final at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, however, the weather forecast remains positive for at least the first half of the second day of the summit clash. Despite day 1 being washed out, the presence of a reserve sixth day mitigated the frustration. Day 2 hence will witness the toss for the summit clash and each day will likely have 98 overs.
Playing XI: Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant.