The stage is set for the inaugural World Test Championship finale as India will take on New Zealand in Southampton on Friday, 18 June. Both the teams have played good cricket for over 12 months to enter the last stage of the game.
Playing 11 for India
The Men in Blue has a good headache as Virat Kohli is spoilt of choices. It is a tricky situation for the captain and the coach Ravi Shastri to pick their playing 11. To begin with, the team has to find the right balance in the bowling department.
Without an iota of doubt, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will be part of the squad and there is a huge competition for the third seamer place among Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj and Shardul Thakur.
Considering the recent performances of Siraj, he is most likely to play the WTC final, but if the team management prefers to 'experience' to 'current form', Ishant would be part of the playing 11. It has to be noted that he had taken 18 wickets during his last tour to England.
The Bowling Combination
Virat Kohli is most likely to opt for three fast and two spinners combination. In this situation, either Ishant Sharma or Siraj would make it to the squad. The team management is expected to go with the two spinners in R Ashwin and R Jadeja.
The pitch is expected to help the spinners after the third day and the captain cannot ignore the batting depth that the spinners give to the squad. In case, if the team management opts for one spinner, all the four seamers will be part of the playing 11.
The other area where the Men in Blue has plenty of choices is the opening position in the batting department. While Rohit Sharma is certain to open the innings, there is a fight among Shubham Gill, Mayank Agarwal, and KL Rahul for another place. Many cricketers have named Sharma-Gill as the ideal combination for the team India to consider at the WTC final.
Possible Playing 11: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.
Match Date: June 18-June 22
Match Start Timings: 3.30 pm IST, 11.00 am UK time, 5.00 am CT.
Prize Money: $ 1.6 million for the Winning Team and $800,000 for the Losing Team.
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