The wait for the grand finale of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship is finally coming to an end as India are set to battle it out against New Zealand at Ageas Bowl from June 18 onwards. While the Kiwis are coming to this match on the back of an impressive series win against England, the Indian players haven't played any competitive cricket since the suspension of IPL 2021. However, Virat Kohli's side were recently involved in an intra-squad simulation game in the lead up to the big game. Looking at the performances of the players in that match and all other factors, let us have a look at few players who could be game-changers for India in the finals.
1. Rishabh Pant
The Indian wicketkeeper is currently in the form of his life and has taken the world of cricket by storm. Rishabh Pant was the key architect of India's famous series win down under and will be the X-Factor for the side in WTC Final. Although the 23-year-old has only played 20 Tests so far, he has already amassed 1358 runs at an average of 45.3 and a strike rate of 71.5 which will be a scary sign for the Kiwis.
In the recently-concluded practice match, Pant smashed an explosive century and will be raring with confidence coming into this crucial contest. With a special ability to take the game away from the opposition, Pant certainly holds the key for India in Southampton.
2. Ajinkya Rahane
India's vice-captain is one of the most experienced players in the Test format and has always been a vital cog in overseas conditions. Ajinkya Rahane has played 73 Tests in his career, scoring 4538 runs at a dazzling average of 41.3. The 33-year-old holds India's middle-order and will be very crucial if they have to succeed against a lethal Kiwi bowling attack.
Rahane's solid technique and resilient approach might prove to be very handy on a wicket that won't be easy to bat on in Southampton. Being one of the Test specialists in the side alongside Cheteshwar Pujara, he will certainly want to guide his side to a prestigious ICC title.
3. Ravichandran Ashwin
The 34-year-old all-rounder will have to be at his absolute best if India wants to get the better of New Zealand in WTC Final. Ravichandran Ashwin is one of the most intellectual cricketers across the globe and is someone who can exploit the conditions in style. He will certainly have some assistance at Ageas Bowl and will be very keen to make an impact with both bat and ball.
The experienced campaigner has represented India in 78 Tests with 2656 runs and 409 wickets to his name. He is also the leader of India's bowling attack and will play a very crucial role across all aspects of the game in the final showdown.