WTC Final, IND vs AUS: Who Will Reign Supreme| Pitch Report, Fantasy Tips & Prediction
India will take on Australia in WTC Final [Source: Twitter]
On Wednesday, the excitement of cricket fanatics will peak as India and Australia will be up against each other in the World Test Championship final. Billions of hearts will beat faster than usual, and a few shoulders will collide on the field, as both teams won't give an inch to each other with the WTC title at stake. But most importantly, the Kennington Oval will be an eye-witness to cricket of the highest quality, something the fans expect from these two formidable outfits.
Team Preview: Australia
Steve Smith has a sublime record against India in Tests [Source: Twitter]
Led by Pat Cummins, Australia managed to win eleven out of their nineteen group-stage fixtures, finishing at the top of the WTC points table. However, when it came to taking on India, the mighty Aussies faltered big time, losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy by a demoralising 3-1 margin.
However, the situation will be entirely different this time as the conditions in England will suit the Kangaroos more than their Indian counterparts. With all their first-choice players fit and available, Pat Cummins and co. will start as certain favourites in the all-important final.
With David Warner going through a rough patch, the onus will be on Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head to score the bulk of the runs. Meanwhile, Cummins will lead the bowling attack, with Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland, and Nathan Lyon expected to assist the skipper in dismantling the Indian batting.
Team Preview: India
Virat Kohli will play a huge role for India [Source: Twitter]
On the other hand, India were impressive in the WTC cycle, occupying the second position with ten victories in eighteen outings. As it's their second consecutive appearance in the WTC final, they will leave no stone unturned in breaking the knockout jinx and lifting an ICC trophy after a ten-year-long hiatus.
The Indian batting looks rock-solid on paper, comprising Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja.
Furthermore, the presence of young Shubman Gill ensures enough dynamism in their star-studded batting line-up. However, they will miss Rishabh Pant, who has always been an x-factor for them in the purest format. So, KS Bharat, who is all set to don the keeping gloves, will have an uphill task to fill Pant's shoes.
Meanwhile, the lethal duo of Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj will spearhead the Indian pace attack in the absence of ace speedster Jasprit Bumrah. With Umesh Yadav likely to play as the third seamer, the biggest dilemma for team India will be to choose one between Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur for the number eight spot in the playing XI. Whoever plays must be tasked to keep things tight and chip in with important breakthroughs in crucial junctures.
Date & Time: June 7, 3.00 PM IST
Venue: Kennington Oval, London|
Live Streaming: Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar
The surface at the Kennington Oval generally remains ideal for stroke play in the first three days, assisting spinners in the last two. However, as it's the beginning of the English summer, we might see the pacers getting decent seam movement off the deck. Furthermore, with the Dukes' ball moving throughout the day, the batters might have a tough time in the middle.
Predicted Playing XIs
Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (WK), Pat Cummins (C), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat (Wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav
Cricket Exchange Fantasy Tips
Wicket-Keeper: KS Bharat
Batters: Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne
All-rounder: Ravindra Jadeja
Bowlers: Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Lyon
Captain: Marnus Labuschagne
Vice Captain: Ravindra Jadeja
Considering both teams have some exceptional players, we expect a cracking contest at the Oval. However, with Pant and Bumrah being unavailable, India might end up losing their second consecutive WTC final.