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Siraj to Jadeja: A Look at India’s Selection Conundrum for WTC Final

The Indian team is well on course to make history as on June 18 they’d square up against the mighty Kiwis to compete for the first-ever World Test Championship trophy. Before the team took the flight to England, it seemed like a major selection spoiler was given to the fans as Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri’s audio was leaked before the press conference, which clearly mentioned the names of Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami in the Starting XI. 

Since then, the team has kept their cards close to their chests as even the intra-squad practice match scores weren’t made official by the management. Post the match, the Indian team has announced their 15-man squad for the final. It is a solid 15-member squad but now the question which Ravi Shastri and management have to answer is what could be the ideal combination for a one-off final in England? So let’s look at all the possible ones the team can go for in this crucial encounter.

 

6 BATTERS, 1 SPINNER AND 4 FAST BOWLERS

The weather forecast in Southampton is gloomy and plenty of rain is expected during the course of these six days of the final. If the weather remains overcast, then the fast bowlers could be extra dangerous and batting would be a game of mere survival. In this case, playing the extra fast bowler makes a lot of sense and someone like Mohammed Siraj has everything in him to exploit those favourable conditions in Southampton. This would be the ideal XI if the weather Gods decide to interfere in this final.

Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj Jasprit Bumrah

 

6 BATTERS, 2 SPINNERS AND 3 FAST BOWLERS

If India goes into this final with this combination, then surely the team is out there meaning business and extremely confident as a unit. This combination would include Rishabh Pant in the top six of the batting line up and the team would be banking on the all-round skills of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin to come good. The toss-up for the third seamer’s spot would be between Mohammed Siraj and Ishant Sharma and the latter might just knick it given his experience of bowling with the Dukes ball in England. 

Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

 

7 BATTERS, 1 SPINNER AND 3 FAST BOWLERS

This would be the safer approach to take given that the stakes are so high in a final. The batter who comes in would be Hanuma Vihari who was actually batting in the English County Championship not so long ago. Vihari would come in for a spinner which would be Jadeja most probably but in an unlikely scenario, the team can drop Ashwin as well as Vihari bowls some part-time off-spin and Jadeja would offer something different with the ball and is a better batter than Ashwin. The three fast bowlers would remain the same and the XI could look like this.

Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Read: What Makes James Anderson So Consistent?

 

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