'He might shift to 7': Gavaskar says India should make a change to their WTC XI due to weather conditions in Southampton
- Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar feels India should make a change to their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand after rain washed out the opening day.
Legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar feels India should make a change to their playing XI for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand after rain washed out the opening day even without the toss taking place.
Continuous rain from Thursday evening at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton meant there was no play possible on Friday. The reserve day (June 23) will come into play if needed to make up for the loss of time and overs.
India had announced their playing XI on the eve of the WTC final, which included five bowlers – two spinners and three seamers – in Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. Gavaskar now believes India should play an extra batsman seeing the weather conditions.
"Yes, that's the thing. See, they might have announced the team yesterday, [but] nothing is finalized until the captains share the sheets with each other during the toss. So, you can change the team till the very last moment. As a captain, when I used to be confused between playing a spinner or an extra batsman, I used to see the opposition's eleven and scratch and change the team on my paper just before the toss. So, the eleven can be changed any time before the toss,” Sunil Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
The former India captain batted for the inclusion of Hanuma Vihari and No.6 while adding that one spinner should be enough.
"So I feel like maybe they'll think of playing another batsman because of the weather. Because these conditions are suitable for New Zealand fast bowlers so Rishabh Pant is at six, he might shift to seven and an extra batsman might play. Seeing this weather, one spinner might be dropped," Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar also added that the considerable amount of grass on the surface will mean captains will be inclined to field first to take early advantage of the favourable conditions.
"Yes, that will be the thinking of both the captains. It has been raining since yesterday so the groundsmen haven't got the chance to trim the grass and roll the pitch. There will definitely be some grass then. That's why I feel that as both India and New Zealand have brilliant new-ball attacks, they'll want to safeguard their own batters and field first (if they win the toss). If they can pick up 3-4 wickets in the first hour, the match will be in their control," Gavaskar added.