When the squad was first announced by the board, it had a strength of 20 members. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has named a 15-man squad for the WTC final against New Zealand, which will take place at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl from June 18 to 22.
The squad’s strength was initially confirmed by the board to be 20, but that number has been reduced to 15 after Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur, Mayank Agarwal, and Washington Sundar were denied permission.
With Agarwal’s dismissal, India was expected to go with a pair of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma as openers. Gill, in particular, shone brightly during India’s recent tour of Australia, where he was instrumental in the team’s historic victory at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Meanwhile, there’s still no word on how the team’s bowling squad will dress. India now has pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Umesh Yadav to pick from after Shardul Thakur’s departure. Despite Siraj’s outstanding debut series Dow, the speed troika of Bumrah, Sharma, and Shiami has been a huge success for the side.
It comes down to whether you want to field four pacers and a spinner or three pacers and two spinners. The team is expected to make a final choice in this regard after they have seen the final surface for the headline match.
There are no leg-spinners in the Indian side, and with Axar Patel and Washinton Sundar out, they have only Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to pick from as spinners.
While Sundar had a strong tour of Australia and followed it up with a similar performance against England at home, Patel had a record-breaking debut series against England, taking 27 wickets in three Tests.However, Ashwin and Jadeja’s expertise has given them the upper hand.
In addition, Wriddhiman Saha has been retained in the 15-man squad alongside Rishabh Pant, who has remained the preferred pick for keeping following outstanding performances against Australia and England at home.
India’s Playing XI for WTC final
India’s squad for WTC final
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 15, 2021