The inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship final is set to be held in a few week’s time from now between India and New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. The Indian squad that will be on the flight to England was announced yesterday and as always, there has been a lot of questions on certain performers who have been left out from the squad.
However, the selectors have also noted the performances in the last test series against England and have picked accordingly. Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, and Hanuma Vihari have all returned from injuries while Kuldeep Yadav has been left out of the squad after a poor show in the previous series. Here is India’s best-predicted playing XI for the ICC World Test Championship final.
Rohit Sharma will be the first choice opener for the world test championship final against New Zealand and he has proved to be a great choice at the top of the order for India in any format. After promoting up the order in tests, Rohit has scored the most number of runs as a Test opener in the world test championship so far with 1030 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 64.37. He is going to be a vital player for India in the final.
Shubman Gill got the nod ahead of Mayank Agarwal for the England tests, and he failed to live up to the expectations after the Australian test series. Agarwal has done really well for India at the top of the order and he has shown good form recently in the IPL too. He has scored 857 runs in 12 Tests for India in the World test championship and after Gill’s poor show in the IPL, India should prefer Agarwal with the form.
Cheteshwar Pujara is going to be the number three for India and he has cemented his place in the XIs after some heroic performances. He has been contributing immensely to India’s test success despite not getting those big centuries and he has scored nine fifties in the World Test championship. He has got the goods to deliver and he will have the responsibility of holding up the middle order in control.
Virat Kohli (C):
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli is going to be the key player in the world test championship final and despite his century drought in the last two years, he has been getting those important fifties at crunch times and this will be the best time for him to show why he is the best batsmen in the modern era. He played really well in the England conditions in the 2018 series and will be looking to take a leaf out of the book.
Ajinkya Rahane has been the top scorer for India in the world test championship with 1095 runs from 17 tests with three centuries. The vice-captain of the Indian test team is the man for a crisis and he has one of the best techniques in the squad. He has been inconsistent over the last few years but still has managed to create impacts at the right time when the team needs and he provides a lot of value with his captaincy too.
Rishabh Pant’s growth in the last six months has been a major plus for India in all the formats. Pant has improved both as a batsman and as a keeper which always gives the advantage for the skipper to play the extra bowler. He is the first-choice keeper now and has been in really good form in all the formats. He has been taking far more calculated risks and it is paying off for him certainly. He is a very much capable batsman at six and can be very destructive too.
Ravindra Jadeja should get the nod for the final as he has performing brilliantly for India in all the formats and has been scoring prolifically in tests too. He has scored 469 runs at an average of 58.62 in the world test championship in 10 tests and has scored five fifties coming down the order. With Hardik Pandya not in the mix for tests, Jadeja should be the first-choice all-rounder for India with his left-arm spin.
Ravichandran Ashwin has been batting and bowling really well for India in tests and he has taken a lot of wickets recently in the previous series against England. Ashwin has taken 67 wickets in 13 Tests at an average of 20.88 with four five-wicket hauls in the world test championship and he should start in the playing XI for India. Ashwin is more than a very handy all-rounder at eight and he recently popped up his fifth century in tests against England.
Ishant Sharma has grown to be a very good fast bowler for India and with lots of experience under his belt, he will be leading the pace attack for India. He takes the new ball usually and bowls consistent lengths and lines making it tough for the batsman to score. He uses his height as a strong advantage and has already taken 36 wickets in 11 tests for India in the world test championship with an excellent average of 17.36.
Mohammed Shami has one of the best seam positions among the fast bowlers in the world and he relishes bowling in second innings which his numbers suggest. He has been an important member of the Indian bowling attack and does can generate a good pace at times. He is one of the best exponents of reverse swing bowling and has taken 36 wickets in 10 tests for India in the world test championship at an average of 19.77.
Jasprit Bumrah has been the go-to bowler for the skipper Virat Kohli in all the formats and he has been bowling brilliantly in the test format too. He has taken 34 wickets in 9 tests in the world test championship and he can rip through any batting order when he gets his rhythm going. He will be a key factor for India if they have to win the world test championship.