Team India have landed in Southampton and commenced their intra-squad match in order to prepare themselves for the final of the inaugural World Test Championship against New Zealand, starting June 18th at The Rose Bowl.
The selectors have sent a 20-man strong squad, plus five reserves, for the WTC final and the following 5-Test series with hosts England, which will be played from August 4.
Captain Virat Kohli will be spoilt for choices to fix down the final eleven for the marquee clash against the Kiwis, considering the success of the fringe players in the last couple of Test series – in Australia and at home versus England – in the absence of the first-choice players.
For example, someone like Mohammed Siraj will be pushing the likes of Mohammed Shami, and perhaps even Ishant Sharma, for a place in the line-up; there will be a debate of the opener to partner Rohit Sharma as well. However, there are a few players who are all but certain to sit out of the WTC final.
Here we take a look at 5 Indian players who will be benched in the ICC World Test Championship Final:
Wriddhiman Saha would be one name – surely – not on India’s eleven as Rishabh Pant has made that ‘keeper-batsman’s slot his own with his heroics in Australia and at home against England. Unless there’s is an injury to Pant in the meantime, Saha is set to be benched for the WTC final and the Test series to follow.
Saha was picked in the first Test in Australia, in Adelaide, but was dropped after scoring just 13 runs in the game. From thereon, Rishabh Pant took over.
While Saha remains a fantastic keeper, probably the best in the country, his returns with the bat have been low. He averages a paltry 13.57 in 7 Tests since the start of 2018 with the highest score of 24. Andhra’s keeper-batsman KS Bharat has been added to the squad as well, so even he might get the nod ahead of Saha if Pant is unavailable.