Come June 7, all eyes will be on The Oval in London as India face off with Australia in the marquee game, the ICC World Test championship final. And the final playing XI has been the talk of the cricketing circle as the pundits have their own say as to how and why a certain player has to be included in the side. Free Press Journal has come up with the probable XI, which could sideline all the ifs and buts.
Rohit & Gill fixed as openers
Opening will be done by skipper Rohit Sharma alongside Shubman Gill, who has undoubtedly proved that he can bat in all formats.
However, Rohit’s batting could raise questions, but he has proved all his critics wrong many times when in crisis.
India needs big runs from Rohit
Captain Rohit, banking on his vast experience, the team management will expect him to step up on the big day and deliver ideal starts in the match. Thus far, the veteran has piled up 3379 runs with nine tons and 14 fifties in 83 innings of his Test career.
Skipper's stellar record in vs Australia and in England
Rohit is no stranger to English conditions, as he has scored 466 runs with a hundred and a couple of half-centuries in 12 innings of six contests. The Nagpur-born batter played his last game in England, at The Oval. In the fourth Test of the Pataudi Trophy 2021-22, he smashed a match-winning 127 to help his team clinch the game by 157 runs.
While talking about his record against Australia, the 35-year-old has racked up 650 runs with a ton and three half-centuries in 20 innings of 11 matches. Going through the past, there are high chances of The Oval track being batting-friendly. Noting this fact, Rohit will look to be impactful against the Aussies.
Rohit's childhood coach confident of Hitman's comeback
“T20 and Test are two different ball games. I do agree Rohit was not successful in IPL, and I am sure he will come good in the Test Match,” said his coach Dinesh Lad while talking to FPJ.
“He has done well in conditions and this match at The Oval he will prove all the critics wrong,” signed off Lad.
India missing big names in middle-order
Indian middle-order has been a bother for many years. But Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant did rebuild and were a threat to the opponents for some years before the trio were ruled out of this summit clash due to injuries. The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) keeping that in mind picked the final 15-member squad, and set the middle-order in order.
Pujara ready to roar in England
Chiteshwar Pujara, who has acclimatised to the English conditions playing County cricket with the Sussex team has made his bat do most of the talking and is ready for the acid test at The Oval.
Former captain Virat Kohli, along with Ajinkya Rahane, Ishan Kishan will set aside all worries of Indian batting.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran will have to play the dual roles of being the lead spinners and chip in their bit with the willow to complete the batting line-up for the bowlers to follow.
Shami & Siraj to lead pace attack
Mohammad Siraj and Mohammed Sami will lead the seam attack and it will be a toss Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav for the third pacer's position.
Shardul might get the nod over Umesh as he can contribute with the bat, like he did during the Border-Gavaskar series in Australia in 2021.
FPJ’s Probably Playing XI
Rohit Sharma (c)
Ishan Kisan (wk)