WTC final: Team India announces playing XI, Jadeja and Ashwin included
The middle-order wears a familiar look with Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane following the openers.
All the hullaballoo around what an ideal combination for the Indian team should be heading into the World Test Championship final has been laid to rest as the Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) announced the final XI on the eve of the clash against New Zealand.
On expected lines, India preferred Ishant Sharma, a veteran of 101 Tests, over Mohammed Siraj, with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami being the other two pacers. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were confirmed starters once the board had trimmed the original 20-man squad to 15, dropping Mayank Agarwal, the other potential choice for the slot.
The middle-order wears a familiar look with Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane following Sharma and Gill, while the most notable inclusions remain that of two spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja while Hanuma Vihari and Wriddhiman Saha miss out.
WTC 2019-21 cycle set to end
The contest gets underway from June 18 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, with the weather expected to play spoilsport. The ICC has kept in place a reserve day (June 23) which will come into play in case net playing time (30 hours of play i.e., six hours a day) is lost due to inclement weather, bad light or any other unavoidable reason.
The reserve day, however, cannot be used to get to a result but only as a compensation mechanism for the lost time. The ICC clarified that only the numbers of over lost will be played on the reserve day and not an entire day will be used.
In case of the WTC final ending in a draw or tie, the two teams will be held joint winners, as there is no tie-breaker rule introduced by the apex cricket body for the current edition. The WTC cycle, running from August 2019, will come to a close with this contest.
New Zealand and India are currently ranked No. 1 and 2 respectively in the ICC Test rankings. The WTC winner will occupy the top spot in the rankings, apart from getting the ICC mace and a monetary reward of USD 1.6 million.
India’s playing XI: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami