WTC final: BCCI name 15-member Indian squad for summit clash against New Zealand

WTC final: BCCI name 15-member Indian squad for summit clash against New Zealand

The strength of the squad when announced initially by the board was 20.

India
India. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a 15-member squad for the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand, which is set to go underway at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton from June 18-22.

The strength of the squad when announced initially by the board was 20, however, the same has been trimmed down by five with Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur, Mayank Agarwal and Washington Sundar failing to get a go-ahead.

India was likely to opt for Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma pair as openers, which stands confirmed with Agarwal’s axing. Notably, Gill shone brightly during India’s Australia tour last year and played a crucial hand in India securing the historic victory at Gabba, Brisbane.

Meanwhile, questions remain on what look would the team’s bowling unit wear. After Shardul Thakur’s exit, India has pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav to choose from. Given the pace troika of Bumrah-Sharma-Shami has reaped immense success, it remains highly likely for the team to stick with the combination despite Siraj’s excellent debut series Down Under.

It bottles down to the choice of fielding four pacers and a spinner versus three pacers and two spinners. A final decision in this regard is understood to be taken after the team gets to take a look at the final surface for the marquee clash.

Ashwin, Jadeja the only spinners in India squad

Indian squad has no leg-spinners, while with Axar Patel and Washinton Sundar missing out, they only have Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to choose as spinners. While Sundar had an impressive tour of Australia and managed to emulate a similar performance against England at home, Patel had a record-breaking debut series against the latter, where he bagged 27 wickets from merely three Tests. That said, the experience of Ashwin and Jadeja has pipped them.

Further, the team has retained Wriddhiman Saha in the 15-member squad alongside Rishabh Pant, who remains to be preferred choice for keeping after sensational performances against Australia, followed by the home series against England.

India’s squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha