WTC Final: Ravi Shastri names his Playing XI for India against Australia

Ravi Shastri
Image Source : GETTY Ravi Shastri

Former head coach Ravi Shastri has picked his Playing XI for India ahead of the World Test Championship final scheduled to be played against Australia beginning on June 7.

“You have 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,” Shastri said.

According to Shastri, the option is there for India to select Ashwin as the only specialist spinner and use Jadeja to bat at No 6 should the pitch at The Oval look like it will offer some turn during the later stages.

“If the track is hard and dry, you would want two spinners to play for sure,” Shastri said.

“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 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.”

When it comes to batting, Shubman Gill will become an automatic choice to partner skipper Rohit Sharma at the top in the absence of the injured KL Rahul. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli will play at No 3 and No 4 respectively. On the other hand, Ajinkya Rahane is to make a return to a No 5 spot.

Excited about the return of Rahane, Shastri said he has earned a place in the squad.

“The way he’s (Rahane) 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 against that. What is the strike rate with those number of balls he’s played, which is good and which augurs well,” Shastri said about Rahane.

“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.”

In his choice of playing XI, Shastri has picked keeper-batter Kona Bharat ahead of Ishan Kishan.

Ravi Shastri’s Playing XI for India

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat (wk), Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj.

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