No place for Ishan Kishan, Rohit and Co. to rely on 35-year-old star at Oval: India's predicted XI for WTC final vs AUS

By, New Delhi
Jun 06, 2023 03:08 PM IST

Ishan Kishan is expected to warm the bench in the final of the ICC World Test Championship between India and Australia at The Oval.

Who will keep wickets for India? Will Team India continue to back KS Bharat or Ishan Kishan is set for an audition? What about the bowling combination against Australia at The Oval? How many spinners and fast bowlers will Rohit Sharma and Co. pick in their star-studded playing XI? Rahul Dravid-coached Team India will answer several selection questions when skipper Rohit confirms the playing XI of the Asian giants against Australia for the final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) at The Oval on Wednesday.

In-form batters Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill will spearhead India's world-class batting lineup against Australia at The Oval (Reuters-ANI)
In-form batters Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill will spearhead India's world-class batting lineup against Australia at The Oval (Reuters-ANI)

After retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home, India will resume its rivalry with Australia in the summit clash of the ICC World Test Championship. The top-ranked side suffered a heartbreak in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship as Team India was outclassed by New Zealand in the 2021 final. Even though it has been a decade since India last won an ICC trophy, head coach Dravid feels Rohit and Co. are not feeling any pressure going into the final of the World Test Championship.

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Bharat vs Kishan

Rohit and Co. are already without the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer for the upcoming encounter. Replacing Pant in the Indian lineup, wicketkeeper Bharat is yet to cement his position. Both Bharat and Kishan have never played in England. It will be a bold decision if the Indian think-tank overlooks Bharat by allowing Kishan to make his Test debut in the WTC final.

Skipper Rohit, in-form batters Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill will spearhead India's world-class batting lineup against Australia. After a successful season in the Indian Premier League (IPL), veteran Ajinkya Rahane is expected to repay the faith of the selectors in the final. All-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin both featured in India's playing XI when the Kyle Jamieson-inspired New Zealand side defeated India by 8 wickets in the WTC 2021 final at Rose Bowl.

Ashwin, Jadeja expected to start

Interestingly, Ashwin had to warm the bench when India toured England for the five-match Test series. The visitors opted for a 4-1 pace-bowling attack at the time. However, Ashwin is tipped to get the nod as the top-ranked Test bowler will be teaming up with an in-form Jadeja against Australia at The Oval. It was at The Oval where Ashwin registered his best County figures (6 for 27) in 2021. Talking about the pace battery of the Asian giants, senior pacer Umesh Yadav can complement the fast-bowling duo of Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami. All-rounder Shardul Thakur also has an outside chance of making it to the playing XI if Umesh is not considered for the blockbuster clash between the top two ranked teams.

India's predicted XI for WTC final vs Australia:

Openers: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill,

Middle-order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk),

All-rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin,

Bowlers: Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav/Shardul Thakur.

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