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Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin, center, and Mohammed Shami
Indian players Ishant Sharma, left, Ravichandran Ashwin, center, and Mohammed Shami

WTC Final: We’ve Got Everything Covered, It Should Be India All The Way, Says Venkatesh Prasad

Venkatesh Prasad opined that India now has a third or a fourth seamer who can maintain pressure built by the new ball bowlers. Former Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad feels that Virat Kohli’s team India has all bases covered to take on Kane Williamson’s New Zealand in the upcoming World Test Championship Final on Friday.

A lot has been talked about the advantage Kane Williamson-led New Zealand would have after playing two Tests against England, ahead of the WTC final.

Venkatesh Prasad
Venkatesh Prasad (Image Credit: PTI)

Venkatesh Prasad: India Has Got A Lot Of Options In Both Batting And Bowling As Their Bench Is Also Very Strong

However, Venkatesh Prasad believes there is enough firepower in Team India’s arsenal to win the inaugural title. While speaking in an interview with news agency PTI, Venkatesh Prasad opined that India now has a third or a fourth seamer who can maintain pressure built by the new ball bowlers. At the same time, he feels the team has the batting to put 350 runs on the board irrespective of the conditions.

“Two best teams are playing the final. India has got a lot of options as their bench is also very strong. Be it a batting or seaming track, India has got the upper hand for the simple reason: In the early 90s and later 2000s, there will be two good seamers but the team did have not a third or fourth option.

“Now the squad has got the strength of that and a couple of very good all-rounders. We always had world-class spinners but now we also have a world-class pace attack,” Prasad told PTI.

Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav Photo by Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI
Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav. Photo by Deepak Malik / Sportzpics for BCCI

“And we also have the batting to 350 runs on the board. Now we have got everything covered. It doesn’t matter what sort of a pitch it would be. It should be India all the way,” he added.

Four days ahead of the ICC World Test Championship Final against New Zealand in Southampton, Virat Kohli & Coach Ravi Shastri has almost settled their bowling combination. The talks about India playing 4 pacers in Southampton can be put to rest. It is learned that instead team India will play 3 pacers & 2 spin bowler combinations against New Zealand.

Though the team management agrees that pitch and the English conditions will suit seamers more, India wants to play on their strength and will draft 2 spinners in form of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the XI.

As for pacers, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will become an automatic choice in English conditions with Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur fighting for the third pacer slot. Umesh Yadav remains out of contention as of now.

Venkatesh Prasad Hopes The WTC Final Goes To The 5th Day

The former Indian pacer, who formed the new ball pairing alongside the great Javagal Srinath in his heydays, expects India to dominate the WTC Final from June 18 onwards. Venkatesh Prasad said he rather not pay too much attention to the opposition’s strengths.

“I hope to see the game go to the fifth day. Especially in India, we didn’t see it go beyond the third or fourth day. It should reach day five but in English conditions, the Dukes ball does something more often than not. The batsmen will have to adapt quickly and the bowlers will need to figure out the end which is more suited to them,” Venkatesh Prasad said.

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj

While having Ishant Sharma is a must in Australia for his height and the bounce he generates, in England, Virat Kohli may opt for a little more variety and bring in Mohammed Siraj.

The Hyderabad-based pacer has done wonders in the last few months. He has troubled England batsmen on lifeless Indian pitches while bowling match-winning figures in Australia as he spearheaded the pace attack and was India’s highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps.

However, the fact that Ishant Sharma has a lot of experience in bowling in England and that he was the last tour’s top wicket-taker 18 scalps could get him the nod.