Fri, 02 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], May 24 (ANI): Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri feels India's playing XI needed to be decided by the situation in the lead-up to the first ball when they take on Australia at ICC World Test Championship final on June 7 at the Oval Ground, London.

India secured the second spot by defeating Australia in the Border Gavaskar Trophy by 2-1. India's previous ICC trophy victory came In 2013 under M.S Dhoni.

Speaking to Sanjana Ganesan in a recent episode on The ICC Review, Shastri broke down India's selection question for the World Test Championship Final.

He pointed out two important characteristics that will determine India's playing XI - either the fitness of the fast bowlers or the London weather leading up to the match.

Shastri pointed out the unpredictable London weather and expressed that India should choose two spinners. "If the track is hard and dry, you would want two spinners to play for sure, I think it goes a lot with the weather in England. I believe it's sunny now at the moment, but you know, English weather, how it can change in the month of June.""So there's a very good chance India will go with two spinners, two fast bowlers and an all-rounder. That will be the combination. And then there'll be five batsmen and the wicket-keeper, so six batsmen. So if all conditions stay normal at The Oval, then this would be my combination, but you've got to have the quality to be able to put those guys out in the park.""India did very well in England last time round because you had Bumrah, you had Shami, you had Shardul Thakur, and you had Mohammed Siraj, So you had four fast bowlers. One being an all-rounder there, Shardul. That combination is a very good combination in England. Especially from India's point of view. It allows someone like Rohit Sharma to control the game far better. At times in England, you need to slow it down as well. And suddenly it can get overcast.""You've got horses for courses, you've got all bases covered. But then if the quality is not good in your fast-bowling attack. If you think the guys are older, they are not as quick as they used to be, and the form is a little doubtful, then you play that second spinner because Ashwin is quality, as is Jadeja."Due to the absence of KL Rahul, there is a chance for the return of Ajinkaya Rahane at the No. 5 spot.

"The way he's timed the ball, the way he's looking at T20 from a different perspective. He's not looking at the number of runs, he's looking at the number of balls he's playing as against that. What is the strike rate with those number of balls he's played, which is good and which augurs well, It just goes to show (what happens) when you go through the grind, you go back to domestic cricket. He's earned his place in that World Test Championship side. Now you'll have to see closer to the event what the final XI will be." The former head coach said of Rahane.

Shastri recalled the mentality of the 2021 touring party and emphasised the need for batting focus.

"The application is the key in English conditions, as opposed to Australia, India, you need to apply yourself everywhere, That opening partnership between Rahul and Rohit Sharma was fabulous. You know, the discipline, the patience that is needed to counter English conditions is the need of the hour. In England, in particular, the leaving game becomes very important."India's playing XI for the WTC Final according to Ravi Shastri: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat (wk), Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj. (ANI)

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