5 Indian players who may miss out in the World Test Championship (WTC) final playing XI against New Zealand
Two of the below-mentioned players were a part of the eleven in India's 3-1 win over England.
Updated - Mar 8, 2021 10:17 am
Team India scripted a memorable victory against England in the four-match Test series by 3-1 by winning the final Test by an innings and 25 runs at the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium. With this victory, India also managed to book a berth for themselves in the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship against New Zealand at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, scheduled from June 18 to June 22. The Men in Blue also leapfrogged the Kiwis to regain the top spot in the Test team rankings by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The Test series between India and England involved a lot of drama and controversies. Meanwhile, India also explored their bench strength and discovered the players who have the charisma of making it big in the international circuit. Throughout the Test series against England and Australia, India witnessed many youngsters stepping up to the occasion and performing for the team.
While the excellent performances ensured that India have competent bench strength in the purest format, it also adds to the confusion of the team-management on whom to select for the playing XI of the World Test Championship final. There are chances that some star Indian players might miss playing the final despite delivering some extraordinary performances.
In this article, let’s take a look at 5 Indian players who may miss out in the WTC final playing XI:
1. Hardik Pandya
In recent times, Indian swashbuckling all-rounder Hardik Pandya has emerged as a match-winner for the Men in Blue as he can produce match-defining knocks with the willow and finish games for the team in the limited-overs formats. However, due to his back injury, the all-rounder isn’t keen on bowling and that can act as a barrier to his inclusion in the Test playing XI.
Since his Test debut on July 26, 2017, against Sri Lanka, the right-hander has amassed 532 runs at an average of 31.3 along with scalping 17 wickets at an economy rate of 3.38 and an average of 31.1. However, despite the good numbers, Hardik hasn’t featured in a Test match since August 2018 as the team-management is looking forward to playing an all-rounder in the lower-order instead of a specialist batsman.
As the final of the marquee event is scheduled in 2021 June, it is unlikely for Hardik to be 100% fit to bowl 10 to 12 overs a day in the Test match and he is likely to miss out in the WTC final playing XI.