Southampton, June 15: India took the first step towards for finding an ideal playing 11 for the summit clash of the World Test Championship (WTC Final) against New Zealand at the Ageas Bowl from June 18, announcing their 15-man squad on Tuesday (June 15).
Earlier, New Zealand too had announced their 15-member squad for the WTC Final with Kane Williamson returning as their skipper after being rested for the second Test against England at Edgbaston.
In fact, the India Playing 11 is almost certain except for some last-minute tweaks. There was no place for Mayank Agarwal in the 15 and it made certain that India will go with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill as openers, the pair that did duty against England at home.
The middle-order of skipper Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant selects itself. Kohli will hope that he can shed his recent lethargic run in Test cricket in the WTC Final. Kohli's last Test hundred came against Bangladesh in late 2019, and in fact it was his last international hundred too.
There were some fifty-plus scores but Kohli was unable to convert them to 100s in any form of cricket after that. Will India play Hanuma Vihari, who can double up as off-spinner and was also playing in the English county cricket till now, or will they go with five bowlers with R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja taking the extra weight of batting too on their shoulders? It could depend on the nature of the Ageas Bowl pitch.
The pace attack could be Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, the tried and tested combination of India.
Here MyKhel tries to find out India's possible playing 11 for the WTC Final.
India's possible Playing 11 for WTC Final: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.