WTC Final 2023 - Team India Squad Analysis
Virat Kohli | Source: Twitter
Team India will lock horns with Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) Finals at The Oval, London, from June 7 to June 11, 2023. India have qualified for the marquee event for the second time, having lost the final last time against New Zealand.
However, before we get carried away by the excitement and thrill of red-ball cricket making its return, let's first take a look at the squad composition of Team India for the highly-anticipated event:
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane
Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill | Source: Twitter
In the absence of KL Rahul, who made substantial contributions with the bat during India's last England tour, Shubman Gill will join forces with Rohit Sharma to open the innings for India.
Cheteshwar Pujara, having gained valuable experience playing in the ongoing county championship in England for over a month, will take the number three spot.
Meanwhile, the former India captain Virat Kohli and the returning Ajinkya Rahane, whose outstanding performance in IPL 2023 earned him a spot, will hold the number four and number five slots respectively.
KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan | Source - Twitter
If India's preparations for the World Test Championship have suffered any major blow, it is the loss of their two key wicket-keeper batters, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant. Both of them have got an exceptional track record in England.
With both of them unavailable, India have opted for two less experienced wicket-keeper batters - Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat.
While KS Bharath had the opportunity to feature in a few matches during Australia's tour of India earlier this year, he didn't manage to leave a significant mark with the bat. On the other hand, Ishan Kishan is yet to make his Test debut for India.
The decision on who India entrusts with the wicket-keeping responsibilities will be intriguing. However, it is highly likely that KS Bharat could be preferred over Ishan Kishan, owing to his four-match experience in Test cricket for India and his impressive glove work.
Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur
Ravindra Jadeja | Source: Twitter
In the all-rounders' department, Team India is fortunate to have the trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel.
Jadeja's impact was instrumental in India's series win over Australia in the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He excelled with both bat and ball, earning him the well-deserved back-to-back Man of the Match awards in the first and second Tests.
Meanwhile, Ravichandran Ashwin stood out as India's highest wicket-taker in that series with 25 wickets in four Test matches. Both of them will be eager to sustain their good run of form heading into the marquee event.
In addition, team India has also included Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur as backup all-rounders, providing additional depth to the squad. If either R Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja were to sustain an injury, Axar Patel or Shardul Thakur would be slotted into the playing XI.
Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat
Mohammed Shami | Source: Twitter
One area where Team India appears particularly strong is their pace bowling unit, comprising the experienced quartet of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, and Jaydev Unadkat. All four have been in sensational form in recent months.
Out of these, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Umesh Yadav are likely to be part of the playing XI taking on Australia, owing to their exceptional track record in England and experience with the red ball and its nuances. Jaydev Unadkat, meanwhile will serve as a backup, ready to step in if any of the pacers succumb to injury.
Team India WTC 2023 Squad
Rohit Sharma (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav.
India Predicted Playing XI for WTC 2023
- Rohit Sharma (C)
- Shubman Gill
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Ravindra Jadeja
- KS Bharat (wk)
- Ravichandran Ashwin
- Mohammed Siraj
- Mohammed Shami
- Umesh Yadav