The ICC Test Championship Final is on the verge of being held. It will take place in Southampton from June 18 to 22, and will be the culmination of a two-year event. In many respects, the WTC final between India and New Zealand is a replay of the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal between the two countries. While the team appears to be well-balanced on paper, with numerous players having had outstanding performances in recent matches, there may be some surprises when the selection is named.
Now, Kane Williamson’s Black Caps stand between India and the World Test Championship (WTC), and if India is to overcome the Kiwis, they will need to put their strongest team on the field. To reach the final, both India and New Zealand played outstanding cricket. New Zealand advanced to the finals by defeating India, the West Indies, and Pakistan.
After Australia’s journey to South Africa was postponed due to COVID-19 fears, they were the first team to reach the final. On the other hand, India advanced to the final by defeating teams such as England and Australia.
Here we look at the Expected Playing XI of India in WTC Final Against New Zealand:
Rohit Sharma got off to a great start for India at the top of the order, and he ended up being the hosts’ best run-scorer in the Test series against England. In the four-match Test series, the ‘Hitman’ scored 345 runs at an average of 57.50 runs per innings. In the final, he will be expected to give India a strong start against Tim Southee, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner.
In the final, Shubman Gill will start with Rohit Sharma. He had a strong series against Australia, prompting the selectors to name him to India’s final selection. Even if Gill against England was not very good, he remains a valuable member of the team. The 21-year-old could only score 119 runs at an average of 19.83 in four Tests against the England team. Still, it’s early in Gill’s career, and the right-hander has a lot of potentials.
Cheteshwar Pujara is an important part of India’s batting order. With 85 Test matches under his belt, the right-hander has accumulated 6244 runs at a 46.60 average in the whites. New Zealand bowlers will be fully aware of Pujara’s menace if he is not dismissed early. So far in the competition, he has 818 runs.
A lot is expected from Kohli in the WTC final. In quest of his first ICC trophy, he will captain India in his 61st Test match. Kohli is a great who has established himself in every version of the game with the willow. When India takes against Kane Williamson’s team in England, he’ll be wanting to go out and lead from the front.
Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, Rahane has appeared in over 50 Tests. He is the team’s vice-captain and one of the few Indian batsmen with a successful record in England. In 2014, he scored a Test century at Lords. He is also India’s leading run-scorer (in the WTC campaign) and one of the country’s most under-appreciated cricketers. In the final, Rahane will start at number five.
Rishabh Pant’s form with the willow has been the biggest positive for the Indian team in the past few months. With the bat, the wicket-keeper has had a great season, and he was instrumental in India’s series victories against Australia and England. Pant has 662 runs this season, with a century and four fifties, including two scores of 90 or more.
Ravindra Jadeja is perhaps India’s finest fielder at the moment, and he is as adept with the bat and the ball. With the ball, the left-arm spinner has now taken 220 wickets at an average of 24.32. In the World Test Championship (WTC) final, the all-rounder will be eager to go on the field and contribute to his country.
As the second spinner, Ashwin is a very important player on the team. He has 67 wickets in the tournament, second only to Pat Cummins’ 70. The Tamil Nadu spinner has already surpassed the 400-wicket milestone, making him the second-fastest bowler in the whites behind Muttiah Muralitharan.
Ishant Sharma is India’s sixth-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, with 303 wickets at an average of 32.27. Sharma’s height also allows him to receive more bounce off the deck. He can also make the new ball move a lot in both directions, giving batsmen a lot of problems in England’s seaming conditions.
Southampton’s swinging conditions should give Shami ample confidence. Shami has taken 85 wickets in Test cricket in the last three years alone. In the last three years, he has also taken three five-wicket hauls.
In the Test series against England at home, Jasprit Bumrah did not have the best results. Bumrah only took 4 wickets in the two Test matches he played, and his strike rate was 72.00. However, Bumrah has previously performed admirably in English conditions.