With less than 24 hours to go for the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand in Southampton, speculations about the team combination of both sides are at their peak. In the middle of all the hustle, BCCI released their playing XI for the WTC final.
The Indian side has an impactful bunch of players who can win you games single-handedly. With enough experience into the side, the team management played safe by opting out for 6 batsmen and 5 bowlers in the playing XI.
This how the playing XI looks like- Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane(VC), Rishabh Pant(wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah. BCCI tweeted an image to share the same.
India’s playing XI for WTC final:
Four players Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammad Siraj, and Umesh Yadav of the 15-member squad have missed out on the playing XI. India has gone in with five bowlers. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will be the two spinners, while the three-man pace attack will comprise Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will open the innings, followed by a middle-order comprising Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rishabh Pant. Both Sharma and Gill will be playing their first-ever test match in England. Though Sharma has great figures representing India in ODIs in England, as we say “TESTS are the real TEST of cricket”. It would be really exciting to watch how the openers will set the tone of the game.
Since 1975, India has only beaten New Zealand once in the ICC tournaments, which was in the 2003 ICC Champions Trophy. The last time the two sides faced each other was in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final which proved to be the worst nightmare for the men in blue. The WTC final is a great chance for the Indian side to redeem themselves against the kiwis. The final will begin on Friday at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, live-action will begin at 2 pm IST.