WTC final: Aakash Chopra picks India’s playing XI, Mohammed Siraj misses out
Hanuma Vihari didn't get a place in Chopra's line-up.
Updated - Jun 15, 2021 1:12 pm
Cricket fans worldwide must have marked their calendars with the ICC World Test Championship final being right around the corner. India and New Zealand are the two sides locking horns in the summit clash, which gets underway on June 18 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Both these teams have been exceptional in Test cricket lately, and hence, fans are expecting to witness a fascinating contest.
The World Test Championship is effectively a World Cup of Test cricket. Hence, the stakes in the final are incredibly high. Owing to this, many fans, experts and players have presented their views on playing conditions, probable winners, team combination and other factors related to the summit clash. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has also joined the bandwagon and named India’s playing XI for the encounter against Kiwis.
The cricketer-turned-commentator, who picked his XI in interaction with ESPNcricinfo, went with the popular opinion and didn’t make any surprising pick. He went with Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma as openers with Cheteshwar Pujara, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane next in the line-up. Chopra didn’t go with Hanuma Vihari and slated wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant at number six.
No Mohammed Siraj in Aakash Chopra’s XI
The 43-year-old also named both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the line-up despite the English conditions not known to favour spinners. Among the pacers, Chopra didn’t pick the in-form Mohammed Siraj and stuck with the trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Notably, majority of the experts have chosen this combination, and it would be interesting to see if Virat Kohli and the team management will come up with any surprises.
Meanwhile, Team India, which landed in England on June 3, sweated it out in an intra-squad practice match to get in the groove of England conditions. On the other hand, New Zealand will head to the summit clash on the back of a 1-0 Test series win over hosts England. Hence, it would be interesting to see how the final unfolds.
Aakash Chopra’s playing XI for WTC final: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma
Two spinners or one? 🤔
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 15, 2021