48 Hours Left, Rohit-Dravid yet to make 3 important decisions for WTC Final
Team India is yet to take a call on Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin playing together while there are still calls to be taken on wicketkeeper’s choice and third seamer.
With just 48 hours left for the second World Test Championship Final, Rohit Sharma & Rahul Dravid are yet to make three important calls in India Playing XI. The most important of them is Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin or just one spinner. There is also the question of Shardul Thakur of Umesh Yadav as third seamer. The keeper’s choice seems to be clear but Rohit has been silent on whether India will go with Ishan Kishan or KS Bharat for IND vs AUS WTC Final 2023.
3 Big Decisions:
- Ashwin-Jadeja at Oval or only Ravindra Jadeja?
- Shardul Thakur or Umesh Yadav?
- Ishan Kishan or KS Bharat for wicketkeeper?
Ashwin-Jadeja or Jadeja alone?
The two spinners complement each other. The Jadeja-Ashwin pair has taken 104 wickets in 25 Tests combined in the last cycle. But despite great success with both Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin playing together, India have broken the pattern in England, South Africa, and New Zealand.
Going with horses for courses, India have used both spinners on dusty pitches while sticking to only Jadeja in England. The fact that India’s highest wicket-taker in two consecutive WTC cycles has not played any Tests in England since WTC Final 2021.
Team India preferred Jadeja over Ashwin in all five Tests against England last time out in England. Ashwin only warmed the bench. This time, it is unlikely to be any different despite calls from former greats to play Ashwin at any cost.
“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,” Ravi Shastri said.
Shardul Thakur or Umesh Yadav? – For Rohit Sharma, the clear favourite is Shardul Thakur. The Mumbaikar has delivered with the bat and the ball more often than not in overseas conditions. However, Umesh Yadav brings in the swing as well as pace. With no Jasprit Bumrah, Yadav’s extra zip could be helpful for India. However, to have batting depth, India may be tempted to go with Shardul.
KS Bharat or Ishan Kishan? – In Rishabh Pant’s absence, all eyes were on KS Bharat. He had warmed the bench for long. However, when he got the chance against Australia at home, he faltered. In six innings, he averaged 20.20 with 44 being his highest score. That did not do him any favours.
But what goes in favour of him is his superior keeping skills than Ishan Kishan. KS Bharat can deal with the turn and bounce of both spinners. But Ishan is not yet experienced to keep wickets for someone like Ashwin. He has faltered with the gloves more often than not. With Ishan yet to make his Test debut, India head coach Rahul Dravid is likely to keep his trust in Bharat despite poor returns with the bat.
“I have a feeling that India might just go with, depending on who’s playing – if two spinners are playing, maybe KS Bharat, but if there are four seamers and one spinner playing, then it’ll go the other way, it might go Ishan Kishan’s way,” Ravi Shastri had his say on the matter.
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