India will think of playing another batsman: Gavaskar says India should make a change to their WTC playing XI

If India do make a change to their playing combination, it looks most likely that Jadeja or Ashwin will make way for Hanuma Vihari in the playing XI.

Abhinav Goel Author

Updated - 20 June 2021 1:48 am

With rain playing spoilsport on Day 1 of the World Test Championship Final, several questions have been raised regarding India’s playing XI. Even the toss couldn't take place due to heavy rain and wet outfield. Though, the weather has cleared in Southampton for Day 2 and we're all set to witness some cricketing action. Former Indian cricketer and commentator Sunil Gavaskar has given a big statement regarding the Indian team combination.

Gavaskar feels that India should make a change to their playing XI against New Zealand owing to the pitch and weather conditions. India had included five bowlers in the playing XI – two spinners and three seamers – in Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. However, Gavaskar feels that India should play an extra batsman considering the weather conditions.

Nothing is finalized until the captains share the sheets at toss: Gavaskar

"Yes, that's the thing. See, they might have announced the team yesterday, [but] nothing is finalized until the captains share the sheets with each other during the toss. So, you can change the team till the very last moment. As a captain, when I used to be confused between playing a spinner or an extra batsman, I used to see the opposition's eleven and scratch and change the team on my paper just before the toss. So, the eleven can be changed any time before the toss,” Sunil Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.

“So, the eleven can be changed anytime before the toss. So I feel like maybe they’ll think of playing another batsman because of the weather. Because these conditions are suitable for New Zealand fast bowlers so Rishabh Pant is at six, he might shift to seven and an extra batsman might play. Seeing this weather, one spinner might be dropped,” Gavaskar further said.

If India do make a change to their playing combination, it looks most likely that Jadeja will make way for Hanuma Vihari in the playing XI. Gavaskar further mentioned that wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant might slip to the seventh spot to make way for the extra batsman.

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