'He is the guy Rohit can go to': Ex-England star names surprise pick in India's XI for WTC final
Monty Panesar feels the India star should find a place in the playing XI for the World Test Championship final against Australia.
With Indian spinners ruling the roost against Australia in their previous assignment at home, former England cricketer Monty Panesar is expecting Rohit Sharma and Co. to go with two spinners in their playing XI for the summit clash of the ICC World Test Championship. Rohit Sharma's top-ranked Indian side will meet Australia led by pacer Pat Cummins in the summit clash of the ICC World Test Championship at the Oval on Wednesday.
While India are without the likes of Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, Australia suffered a massive blow in the form of pacer Josh Hazlewood, who was recently ruled out of the blockbuster encounter. Sharing his views about India's playing XI against Australia for the Ultimate Test, former England left-arm spinner Panesar has urged the Rahul Dravid-coached side to include veteran all-rounders Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in their star-studded lineup.
"It is one pitch in England you tend to play two spinners. If the ball turns, there is bounce as well for the spinners. In my view the wicket will be flat. In these conditions, it will suit India if they play two spinners. We have already seen Australia struggling against spinners, especially from India," Panesar told news agency PTI. Interestingly, India's ploy had backfired in the previous WTC final where the Asian giants played two spinners. Team India was outplayed by New Zealand in the previous edition of the Test Championship final at Southampton.
'I would go with Umesh as the third pacer'
"The weather has been hot and we are seeing the ball turning even in some T20 Blast games in London. I also don't see them keeping grass because they would want the match to last at least four days," Panesar observed. Panesar, who played 50 Test matches for the Three Lions, has also backed senior pacer Umesh Yadav to complement the pace attack of the Asian giants in the Test Championship final.
"It will also be interesting to see who the seamers will be as they have lot of options there as well. India are the stronger side in my opinion on all fronts. As they will get extra batting options with Ashwin and Jadeja, I would go with Umesh as the third pacer. He is the guy Rohit can go to and say 'I want you to bowl five overs at 140 plus and rough up the Australian batters'. You will need that extra pace," the ex-England star added.