oppn parties Next Stop: The Oval For The WTC Finals

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Calcutta HC scraps 2016 teacher appointment process, 25757 teachers to lose their jobs, ordered to repay salaries withdrawn in 4 weeks
oppn parties
Next Stop: The Oval For The WTC Finals

By Slogger
First publised on 2023-03-15 08:25:39

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Holding an extreme view and carting the ball out of the park is what interests him most. He is a hard hitter at all times. Fasten your seatbelts and read.

When the recently-concluded Test series versus Australia started, India needed to win by a margin of 3-1 to qualify for the finals of the ICC World Test Championship without waiting for the results of Test matches of other countries. Breathing down their neck were Sri Lanka, who, if they had won both Tests in New Zealand and if India did not win 3-1 against Australia, would have pipped India to reach the WTC finals. In the end, India failed to win 3-1 but Sri Lanka lost the first Test against New Zealand to ensure that India did reach the WTC finals.

The Australian series served to show India's strengths as well as weaknesses. Although the opponents in the WTC finals will be the same, the pitch at The Oval in London will be vastly different to the ones India played Australia at home. On spinning pitches, India gave Australia no chance in the first two Tests both of which finished in less than three days. But on a similar pitch which was more under-prepared, India lost the match at Indore, again in less than three days. The Indian top order, except for a century by skipper Rohit Sharma in the first Test, failed to fire and it was left to the lower order - Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and R Ashwin - to rescue them time and again. It was only in the last Test at Ahmedabad that the Indian batting flowered with classy centuries by Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli and good contributions from most batters.

But the selectors will have a tough task in deciding on the team composition for the WTC finals. With Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant still not available due to injuries and three spinners not needed at The Oval, the playing eleven is likely to be different from the one that played against Australia. India might even go for K L Rahul as the wicketkeeper (as Sunil Gavaskar has advised) given Rahul's earlier exploits in England. The main problem will be in deciding who to drop from Jadeja, Ashwin and Axar. If the selectors decide to play only one spinner then Jadeja should get the nod for his batting and excellent fielding. The other problem will be who to pick if India decides to go with four pace bowlers. Hence, it will be interesting to see who gets the final nod from the selectors.