With the World Test Championship final being four days away, the Indian team management has almost finalized the playing XI for the mega encounter. Given the England conditions favour pace and swing bowling, there were talks that India should play 4 seamers with one spinner in Ravichandran Ashwin.
However, latest media reports claim that Virat Kohli and management have almost finalized to have 3 pacers along with 2 spin bowling options. It is worth noting that the pitch curator at Ageas Bowl, Simon Lee, has mentioned that the surface would have “pace, bounce and carry” on the first three days with spinners getting a bit of assistance in the last two. Given that, the Indian team can go ahead with 3 pacers, and two spinners in Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who have been the key Test bowlers for India in the last few years.
Who will be the third pacer for India?
With Ravi Shastri and management finalizing on the bowling combination for the WTC final against New Zealand, the talks are now centered on who will be the third pacer for Indian team in the finale. Considering the conditions in England, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are two automatic picks for India’s pace attack. However, when it comes to choosing the third pacer, India will have to take a tough call between Mohammad Siraj, Ishant Sharma and Shardul Thakur.
Among the three, right-arm Test specialist Ishant comes out as the ideal choice for the vacant spot, given his experience in the format and in the playing conditions of England. However, Kohli might want to consider Hyderabad pacer Mohammad Siraj for the variety he brings in the bowling attack. On the other hand, Shardul Thakur can also be a wise choice, keeping in mind that he can also contribute with the bat and serve as a night watchman for the Kohli-led team.