The Indian squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, against New Zealand, is expected to be selected in a day or two if the report from Cricbuzz is to be believed. The selectors are expected to pick a jumbo squad given that India is also going to play a five-Test series against England after the WTC final. In the fray are players like Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, And Prasidh Krishna.
India is scheduled to face New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship (WTC), which will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18-22, with 23 being the reserve day.
The BCCI selectors are looking to pick at least four openers, about four to five middle-order batsmen, eight to nine pacers, four to five spinners, and two to three wicketkeepers, Cricbuzz reported. The team management is believed to have asked for a large contingent so that it can have a few intra-squad games before the big ICC match.
Key Debate Is Whether To Retain Hardik Pandya; Prithvi Shaw On Selectors’ Minds As Well
The Chetan Sharma-led committee is expected to retain almost all members of the Indian squad which played against England at home in the four-Test series and not many surprises are expected. However, there are two big things that the selectors must have in mind while picking the team.
Whether to retain Hardik Pandya or not and if Prithvi Shaw merits a place in the Test squad again.
Hardik Pandya has not played Test cricket since 2019 and the last time he was in England, he picked a five-wicket haul with the ball. However, he has not been bowling since his return from back surgery. He did bowl a little in the T20I series against England but was not bowling in the IPL 2021.
Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Indian team after a horrid Adelaide Test outing against Australia. But he has since turned his form around in limited-overs domestic cricket and the IPL 2021. But selectors will need to give hard thought to him, as India already has four other openers – Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and Mayank Agarwal, who are almost certain picks.
Prasidh Krishna Could Be The Surprise Pick
The Australian tour saw the Indian players breaking down thoroughly and the BCCI cannot let that happen on the important tour of England. Hence they might send in a couple of more reinforcements.
One of them could be Karnataka’s Prasidh Krishna, who impressed on his ODI debut for India, picking a record four-wicket haul. The 25-year-old Karnataka bowler could have competition from Delhi’s Navdeep Saini but the team management is believed to be impressed with Prasidh, who did reasonably well in the three ODIs he played against England in March.
While the expected pacers to be on the flight to the UK are Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, and Shardul Thakur, expect Mohammed Shami to make his comeback after getting fit from his fractured arm.
Other expected returns are that of Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari, both of whom did well in recent games. On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel are expected to be retained after their impressive outing against England at home.