WTC 2023: Decoding India’s Playing XI

    World Test Championship

    India will be locking horns with Australia in the high-voltage World Test Championship (WTC) finals. It will start from 7th June 2023 and will be played at The Oval, England.

    After beating Australia 2-1 at home, India sealed a place in the finals. On the other hand, the Ozzies had finished at the 1st position in the WTC points table and was the first team to qualify for the finals.

    Notably, India has won the last 4 Test series between the two nations and are at a better position to win the finals. They have beaten Australia in Australia, the last two times they toured Down Under.

    In this article, we take a look at the possible playing XI of India in the upcoming World Test Championship finals:

    Openers: Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill

    The opening position of India for the World Test Championship finals is a no-brainer. Along side skipper Rohit Sharma will be the young prodigy, Shubman Gill. Gill has been having a fantastic 2023 and has been scoring truckloads of runs everywhere.

    He has scored a century in the 4th Test between India and Australia in March and also had scored a century in the 1st Test between India and Bangladesh in December 2022.

    Middle-order: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane

    In the middle-order would be India’s most dependable Test batters. The trio of Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have played a lot of Test matches for India and are players of incredible class.

    Ajinkya Rahane has staged a comeback into the Test team of India and he will be looking to contribute richly in this game. His experience will be very crucial for India and that is one of the main reasons he has been drafted into the side.

    Lower middle-order: KS Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur

    As KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are injured, the next wicket-keeper choice would be KS Bharat. The batter from Andhra Pradesh recently made his national team debut in the Test series versus Australia. Even though he couldn’t make a lasting impact with the bat, his skills with the glove are second to none presently in the team.

    Ravindra Jadeja would likely be the only spinner in the English conditions. As the conditions in England favour swing and seam, India might look to go with Shardul Thakur ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin.

    Shardul Thakur can swing the ball really well and can contribute with the bat as well. The 31-year-old cricketer has played 8 Tests so far and has scored 660 runs and has also taken 27 wickets.

    Bowlers: Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav

    India would be hoping that their pace battery delivers the goods for them in the finals. Mohammad Siraj has been in fine form in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 and finished as Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) highest wicket-taker.

    Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami have a lot of experience under their belt and would be vital cogs in the wheels of the Indian cricket team for the World Test Championship finals.

    India’s Squad for the World Test Championship finals

    Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav

    Also read: 3 Reasons Why Virat Kohli Can Have A Great ICC ODI World Cup 2023