The ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and Australia at The Oval is a highly anticipated fixture that will take place just a week after the overdose of T20 cricket. This final provides a refreshing shift of focus to the traditional and regular format of red-ball cricket, which many fans eagerly await.
For India, this will be their second WTC final, having previously faced New Zealand in the inaugural final held in 2021. Unfortunately, India tasted defeat in that match, falling short of clinching the championship title. The loss would have undoubtedly left the team determined to rectify their shortcomings and come back stronger in this edition of the final.
Indian Cricket Team Predicted and Strongest Playing 11
- Rohit Sharma (C): Rohit Sharma, the captain of the Indian cricket team in the Test format, faces a significant test in his career. Leading the Test squad and opening the innings in the longer format of the game requires a different set of skills and challenges compared to limited-overs cricket. This big final against Australia provides Sharma with an important opportunity to prove himself as a leader and a reliable opener.
- Shubman Gill: Shubman Gill, a promising young batter, had a great IPL season in 2023, which will boost his confidence heading into this important match. Gill’s consistent performances and excellent form this year make him a key player in the Indian cricket team. The team management will have high expectations from him and will rely on him to play a significant role in the final.
- Cheteshwar Pujara: Cheteshwar Pujara, known for his resilience and solid technique, began his preparation for the final well in advance. While most of the World Test Championship (WTC) squad members were participating in the IPL 2023, Pujara chose to play in the County Championship for Sussex, honing his skills in English conditions.
- Virat Kohli: Virat Kohli, India’s premier batter and former captain in all formats, will have a significant role to play in the final. Having missed out on lifting the championship two years ago, Kohli will be eager to make a winning impact in this crucial match. He had a successful IPL 2023 season, which will boost his confidence heading into the final.
- Ajinkya Rahane: Ajinkya Rahane, who has been facing a dip in his international career, has received a lifeline due to Shreyas Iyer’s injury. Rahane will occupy his usual batting position at number 5 in the starting eleven. His presence in the middle order will be crucial, and his aggressive approach will provide the necessary impetus to the team’s innings.
- KS Bharat (WK): With Rishabh Pant absent, KS Bharat, a wicketkeeper from Andhra Pradesh, will take on the responsibility behind the stumps. This will be Bharat’s first major foreign assignment, although he made his debut in the Border-Gavaskar trophy against Australia earlier in the year.
- Ravindra Jadeja: Ravindra Jadeja, the hero of the IPL 2023 final for the Chennai Super Kings, will enter the final with high confidence. Jadeja’s improved batting skills and all-round abilities make him a valuable asset to the team. The team management will not want to risk dropping him for such a crucial match.
- Ravichandran Ashwin: Ravichandran Ashwin, known for his spin bowling prowess, will have a significant role to play at The Oval, especially against Australian left-handers. Ashwin has been among the leading wicket-takers in the World Test Championship, showcasing his ability to take crucial wickets.
- Shardul Thakur: Shardul Thakur, who had an impactful tour of England in 2021 with both bat and ball, will add depth to India’s batting lineup at number 9. His ability to contribute valuable runs in the lower order will provide an extra cushion for the team. Moreover, Thakur’s ability to generate movement with the ball in the early overs can create trouble for the Australian batsmen.
- Mohammed Shami: With Jasprit Bumrah injured, Mohammed Shami will take on the responsibility of leading India’s pace attack in the final. Alongside Bumrah, Shami forms one of the most threatening pace duos in the world. His excellent performance in the IPL 2023, winning the purple cap for the highest wicket-taker, highlights his form and rhythm.
- Mohammed Siraj: Captain Rohit Sharma will rely on Mohammed Siraj, who had an exceptional series in England in 2021, picking up 18 wickets in just five Test matches. Siraj’s ability to take wickets consistently and create pressure on the batsmen will be valuable in the final.