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. India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was asked about the team combination during a virtual press conference.
It is very important to strike a perfect team combination going into such a big clash. On one hand, the kiwis are already coming from a test series, it is the men in blue that need to focus more on their team balance to win the title. The Indian side has an impactful bunch of players who can win you games single-handedly. It would be really interesting to see the final playing XI of both the finalists.
While India’s top six more or less pick themselves, it is the bowling combination that is yet to be decided. With Bumrah, Shami, Ishant, Ashwin, and Jadeja all being fit, it provides India with an ideal opportunity to walk out in the WTC final with five of their premier bowlers.
Ajinkya Rahane on WTC final:
For Rahane, the WTC final is just another game and his mental make-up is such that he is not thinking of it as the biggest event. Here is what the Vice-captain has to say about the mega clash-
“It’s just a mental thing. If we can switch mentally and adapt, it’s important. Yes one-off, we have to take it as another game, not as a final or anything. We just want to give our best, play good cricket, be consistent in the five days.”
As per the probable 15-memeber team for the final, the likes of Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill will be playing the biggest match of their short careers but Rahane feels it is better to let them play their fearless brand of cricket with an uncluttered mind.
“Personally, I am not telling them anything. They know their game-plan. It’s about giving them freedom, backing them, believing in their abilities. We don’t want any kind of confusion.”
While signing off, he did admit that in order to win the World Test Championship, batters will have to take up additional responsibility.
“Batters play a key role in England. The bowlers get a lot of help over here and we have a big responsibility. Everyone has a different game plan. It’s about backing your game plan. We will take up the responsibility as a batting unit and try to achieve the team’s goal.”
After completing a mandatory quarantine in England, recently the men in blue played an intra-squad match, Rishab pant smashed a magnificent ton and opener Shubhman Gill played an innings of 85 runs at the top. Pacer Ishant Sharma was seen using the conditions in his favor as he took 3 wickets out there in the middle.