WTC 2021-23 Final: Ravi Shastri names combined India-Australia XI
Interestingly, only four Indian cricketers make it to his list of combined players ahead of the summit clash.
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Ahead of the eagerly-anticipated ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final between India and Australia, former cricketer Ravi Shastri revealed his best combined XI. Interestingly, only four Indian cricketers make it to his list of combined players ahead of the summit clash.
The crucial red-ball summit clash is scheduled to start on June 7 at the Oval in London, as the two fierce rivals will square off in a One-off Test for the coveted mace. When asked to name his best XI featuring players from both teams, former India cricketer and head coach Shastri named four Indians as compared to the seven Aussies, who made the cut.
"I would give the captaincy to Rohit because he's much more experienced than Pat. If Steve Smith was captain of Australia, then maybe it’s a different story, but since it's Pat Cummins and Rohit Sharma, Rohit wins it,” Shastri was quoted as saying by ICC.
“It's a tight one between Usman Khawaja and Shubman Gill. Shubman is the rising young star and he's a terrific player, but Usman Khawaja, just by current form and the number of runs he's got over the last couple of years, I think he gets in there,” he added.
You get better balance with two spinners, three fast bowlers: Shastri
Shastri further explained that he would pick Ravindra Jadeja over Ben Stokes citing the latter’s fitness issues. Moreover, he would also go for two spinners and three pacers in his combined XI.
“Number three is a no-brainer as Marnus (Labuschagne) has been outstanding in Test match cricket. Kohli at four for just what he's done over the years and Smith at five for what he's done over the years and the kind of quality they bring to the table. Ben Stokes has had problems with his fitness, so Jadeja comes in at no. 6 and gives a lot of balance to that side,” said Shastri.
“The reason why I picked Nathan Lyon ahead of Ashwin is because of Nathan's overseas record. You get a better balance with two spinners, three fast bowlers, out and out fast bowlers and I would take Starc (to complement them) because of pace and variety being the left-armer,” he concluded.
Shastri’s combined Test XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Ravindra Jadeja, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Mohammad Shami