Former Indian paceman Ashish Nehra has picked the Indian bowling attack that should take the field in the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton. India and New Zealand will lock horns in the inaugural final of the ICC World Test Championship to claim the ultimate prize of the longer format. Ashish Nehra expects Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma to start, but does not rule out Mohammed Siraj’s exclusion.
India has as many as six pace-bowling options in the 20-man squad that the BCCI picked for the England tour. Aside from Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Mohammed Siraj, they also have Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav. Amongst the reserve cricketers, there are Prasidh Krishna and Arzan Nagwaswalla as well. These pace bowlers would also be the ones for the subsequent five-match Test series against England.
Ashish Nehra feels that a green top should prompt India to include an extra seamer in Mohammed Siraj, who he thinks has been bowling wonderfully. However, under normal circumstances, the former India seamer believes they should go with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma, along with two spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
“If you come across a green top, then you certainly can think of including an extra pacer, which I feel should be Mohammed Siraj given how well he has been bowling. But otherwise, I think the bowling attack should be Ishant, Bumrah and Shami as the three fast bowlers, with Ashwin and Jadeja as the spinners,” Nehra told The Telegraph.
If Jadeja and Ashwin are in the XI, the team will have all bases covered in terms of bowling: Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra remarked that there is plenty of time left for the final to get underway, before which there are practice sessions and fitness levels to be taken into account. The 42-year old backs the above-mentioned attack to play since Jadeja and Ashwin could bat, making the lower-order runs priceless. Nehra also claimed that the presence of Jadeja and Ashwin would mean that India has all the bases covered in the bowling unit.
“Of course, there’s still almost a month left for the final and how each of the quicks fares in practice sessions, as well as their fitness levels, would also be taken into account before the XI is announced. But the advantage of playing with this attack is that Ashwin and Jadeja can contribute with the bat too, and runs scored by the lower order turn out to be priceless. If Jadeja and Ashwin are in the XI, the team will have all bases covered in terms of bowling,” he added.