WTC Final: Ravi Shastri names his combined India-Australia playing XI

Former India all-rounder and head coach,Ravi Shastri has selected a combined XI that includes players from India and Australia, ahead of the World Test Championship final.

Australia were the first team to qualify for the WTC final after winning the third Test against India in the Border Gavaskar Trophy. India, meanwhile, booked their place when New Zealand beat Sri Lanka in a thriller. India will play the World Test Championship final for a second straight time.

Shastri has made interesting selections for the combined playing XI, which will be led by Rohit Sharma instead of Australia’s Pat Cummins. However, Shastri indicated that he may have led with Steve Smith if he was the Australia captain.

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“I would give the captaincy to Rohit because he’s much more experienced than Pat,” Shastri told ICC. “He’s been around and he’s captained sides for a long time. If Steve Smith was captain of Australia, then maybe it’s a different story, but since it’s Pat Cummins and Rohit Sharma, Rohit wins it. Plus, you know, as a captain, you’re a certainty in the XI so he opens the batting.”

Shastri picked Usman Khawaja to partner with Rohit for the opening combo and Marnus Labuschagne has been given the significant No. 3 spot with no place for Cheteshwar Pujara in the eleven.

“It’s a tight one between Usman Khawaja and Shubman Gill,” Shastri said. “Shubman is the rising young star and he’s a terrific player, but Usman Khawaja, just by current form and the number of runs he’s got over the last couple of years, I think he gets in there.”

The next four picks were Virat Kohli at No. 4, Steve Smith at No. 5 and Ravindra Jadeja being the only all-rounder. Alex Carey has been given wicket-keeping duties.

The bowling department is largely made up of Aussies where Nathan Lyon gets the nod ahead of Ravichandran Ashwin. However, Mohammed Shami is the Indian seam option alongside Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

Ravi Shastri’s Combined India-Australia XI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Ravindra Jadeja, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Mohammed Shami

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