Nasser Hussain Picks Rohit Sharma in Combined WTC Final XI Captain
Rohit Sharma in action for India (Twitter)
England's erstwhile commentator Nasser Hussain has picked his combined India-Australia XI ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final between the two sides. The former England captain included four Indians and seven Australians in his line-up, with India’s Rohit Sharma leading the side.
Nasser Picks Ashwin Over Jadeja
Nasser Hussain, who is set to resume his commentary duties in the upcoming WTC final, has made some surprise omissions from his combined playing XI.
The 55-year-old picked India’s Ravichandran Ashwin as the only specialist spinner of the side, while ignoring the likes of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and Australian legend Nathan Lyon.
Notably, Lyon has emerged as the leading wicket-taker from the Championship cycle, and Jadeja was recently co-awarded the ‘Player of the Series’ tag alongside Ashwin during India’s previous home Test assignment against Australia.
While speaking on The ICC Review, Nasser Hussain justified his decision of selecting Ashwin, saying that he might have opted Jadeja if the match was held in India. He said:
"If the World Test Championship Final was in the subcontinent or India, I might go Jadeja at six. But I’m not, because it’s in England. My spin bowler would be Ravi Ashwin at eight. And he bats, obviously, very good at number 8."
The English legend also claimed that selecting Rohit Sharma as captain was an easy choice for him, considering his success as a leader off late. The cricketer-turned-commentator later praised Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, and picked the trio as the middle-order of his famed combined line-up.
"Rohit Sharma, very easy, top of the order and captain for me. I love the way Rohit captains. Then into the very easy bit, three of the all-time world greats in Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Virat Kohli come in at three, four, five."
Nasser's combined WTC Final XI
Rohit Sharma (c), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Mohammed Shami.
The WTC final is set to commence on June 7 at The Oval in London. As the title suggests, the match serves as a conclusion to the two-year championship cycle, which launched back in August 2021 with a Test between India and hosts England at Trent Bridge.