What should be India’s playing XI for the WTC final against Australia?


India is going to face Australia in the upcoming World Test Championship Final in England.

Moreover, this is the second time that India has qualified for the WTC final. They beat Australia 2-1 in the BGT to achieve this spot.

However, when it comes to the mega event, India does have some selection dilemmas. With Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah already out, the team management will have to look out for other options.

Firstly, there are the openers. Skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are already looking rock solid at the top after their performances in the BGT.

Thus, the problem of openers is pretty much solved until and unless there are no injuries to any one of them.

Then in numbers three and four, we have Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. These two were having a pretty rough patch in the first half of the BGT but came back strongly in the second.

Kohli ended his Test century drought by scoring a ton in the final Test at Ahmedabad.

Meanwhile, Pujara also showed some form in the second half of the series scoring some crucial runs when the team needed them.

However, the real headache for India starts from numbers five to seven. They need to have a wicketkeeper, an allrounder and a batter. While Jadeja can fill the allrounder spot, the other two remain a mystery.

In the BGT, India played Jadeja at five, Iyer at six and Bharat at seven and chances are they might continue with the same combination.

Unfortunately, Bharat didn’t have a great outing in the BGT as he managed only 101 runs from five innings and had an average of 20.2 and his keeping skills also remained a mixed bag.

Meanwhile, Iyer hasn’t looked good in English conditions and last year against England, he didn’t perform well.

What are the solutions for the playing XI then?

So, India do have some alternatives when it comes to wicketkeepers but then the management may not look to keen to use them.

There are the likes of Ishan Kishan, Upendra Yadav, and KL Rahul who can replace Bharat for the WTC.

However, India will not like to use Kishan just yet because of his unfamiliarity with the longest format.

Similarly, KL Rahul will be a high-risk option for India because of his recent string of low-scoring performances.

On the other hand, India can bring in Rahul in replacement of Shreyas Iyer with Jadeja and Bharat retaining their spots.

Then there is the question of whether India should play R Ashwin or Shardul Thakur. When the pitch offers swinging conditions like the ones in England, then Thakur emerges a better option.

But, if the conditions are dry and not swingy enough, then picking Ashwin at eight will be the right call for the team.

And finally, for the seamers, India are most likely going to pick Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.

But, with Bumrah out, the options are limited for India. They have only Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat to pick as the third seamer.

India’s probable playing XI for the World Test Championship Final against Australia

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

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