India announce Playing XI on eve of World Test Championship final against New Zealand; leave out Siraj and Vihari

The pitch at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton has an unmistakable greenish tinge to it and it could well be a game that is dominated by the seam bowlers.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 17 July 2021 3:09 pm

A day before the all-important ICC World Test Championship final, Team India have opted to announce their Playing XI. While the team is along expected lines, the management has decided to leave out Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha and Hanuma Vihari from their 15-member squad. Earlier, Team India had reached the venue on June 3 and after their mandatory quarantine, started training for the summit clash.

Meanwhile, New Zealand, who they will be up against, received proper Test match practice in English conditions in the form of a two-match Test series against the host nation and would look to finally lift an ICC title after coming so close to it in the World Cup in 2019. The pitch at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton has an unmistakable greenish tinge to it and it could well be a game that is dominated by the seam bowlers.

The match is a significant one for more than one reason. While this is the first-ever Championship that happened in the history of Test cricket, it is also the first-ever Test match at a neutral venue for Team India. In addition, captain Virat Kohli, who has had a great overall record in all forms of the game, is yet to lift an ICC trophy and would look to end the drought with this game beginning on Friday. Moreover, the match is being regarded as the equivalent of an ODI World Cup final, especially by cricketers who play only red-ball cricket.

WTC final to begin at 3 PM (IST)

Meanwhile, it is also being learnt that the World Test Championship final will begin at 3 PM (IST), a half an hour early start from the usual Test match start in England. Consequently, the toss for the game shall take place at 2:30 PM (IST), with the Lunch and Tea taking place at 5 PM (IST) and 7 PM (IST), respectively. The game is slated to end at 10 PM (IST) for the duration of the five days at Stump's.

India’s Playing XI for WTC Final against New Zealand: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma

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