The highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 Final is set to kick off on June 7th at The Oval, featuring a clash between India and Australia. Pat Cummins will lead the Australian team, while Rohit Sharma will captain the Indian side in this crucial encounter. With the likes of Virat Kohli, Pujara, and Gill in the Indian batting lineup, and Thakur, Shami, and Siraj in the pace department, India is well-equipped for the challenge.
The spin department will be handled by Jadeja, Ashwin, and Axar Patel. Australia, on the other hand, will rely on the batting prowess of Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, and David Warner, while Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland, and Mitchell Starc will spearhead their bowling attack.
The clash is expected to be a thrilling battle, with both teams in good form. Having played 106 Tests against each other, India has won 32 games, while Australia has emerged victorious in 44 matches. The stage is set for another enthralling contest at The Oval.
The Kennington Oval surface is known to benefit both batsmen and bowlers. Despite being a high-scoring ground, the pitch offers assistance to bowlers throughout the game. In the final two days, the dry conditions will particularly favor spinners. However, due to the absence of a green surface, fast bowlers may find it challenging to make an impact.
Australia’s preparations for the upcoming match have been hampered as pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out due to an injury. With his absence, the Australian team faces a decision on whether to opt for the experienced Nathan Lyon or the promising Todd Murphy as their spin option. Lyon’s vast experience could be advantageous, but Murphy showcased his skills in the BGT and could be a worthy contender.
Pat Cummins also faces a significant conundrum when it comes to selecting the batting lineup. While David Warner appears to be a strong candidate for a starting spot, the decision between Travis Head and Matt Renshaw poses a tricky challenge. Smith will carefully weigh the options to ensure a formidable batting order.
Probable XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (C), Mitchell Starc, Scott Bolland, Nathan Lyon
Meanwhile, India finds itself grappling with an extensive injury list. Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah have all succumbed to injuries and were unable to secure a place in the WTC squad. This unfortunate situation has left India struggling in the wicketkeeping department, and either KS Bharat or Ishan Kishan, both relatively new faces, may be entrusted with the role in the final. At present, Bharat appears to be the frontrunner for selection.
The selection dilemma continues as India contemplates the ideal combination of spinners for the match. It is anticipated that India may opt for two spinners, namely Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, considering the significance of spin in the playing conditions. Additionally, Ajinkya Rahane, chosen for his exceptional performance in the IPL, is expected to earn a spot in the starting lineup.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Fantasy XI Suggestion 1:
Alex Carey, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Steven Smith (vc), Marnus Labuschagne, Ravindra Jadeja (c), Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj
Fantasy XI Suggestion 2:
Alex Carey, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne (c), Ravindra Jadeja, Cameron Green (vc), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Mohammad Shami, Nathan Lyon