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The buzz to the World Test Championship Final at the Oval Cricket Ground in England from 7th to 11th June 2023 is just starting to echo. The Kia Oval, as the ground is generally called, has a capacity of 27,500 and a new inherited owner – Prince Williams, post the queen’s demise. The Oval was the first ground in England to host an international Test match in September 1880. The two WTC finalists – Indian Cricket Team and the Australian Cricket Team have announced their squads and are ready to roll. India will have their second shot at WTC Final glory, having lost the first one to New Zealand.

WTC Final at The Oval in England

Australians will show full muscle with all their players recovering from minor injuries. However, it is the Indians who will miss out on the services of some key players.

Indians Have Confidence of Winning BGT 2023

The Indian team have recently won the Border Gavaskar Trophy in February 2023. The team will be riding high in confidence despite winning in home conditions. Their Number 3 batter Pujara is in red hot form as he is scoring big runs for Sussex in England. Pujara, along with Virat Kohli, will be the backbone of the Indian batting lineup.

Indian team selectors are known to stick to players with past glories rather than current form. However, with the change at the helm of the BCCI, this archaic mindset is slowly giving way to a more modern one. Players who have performed consistently at the domestic level and overseas, like Ajinkya Rahane, have been given a chance in the all-important WTC Final.

Indian Batsmen Look Ready to Roar in WTC Final

A consistent run in the Indian Domestic Circuit, swashbuckling form in the IPL 2023 for Chennai Super Kings, an impeccable overseas record and injury to Shreyas Iyer have all contributed to Rahane’s inclusion in the 15-member squad. Rumour mills are churning, and some say that MS Dhoni was consulted by the selectors. It is a huge turnaround for the veteran Maharashtrian. He was dropped from the central BCCI Contracts not too long ago. In addition to his heroics for CSK in IPL 2023, Rahane ended the Ranji Trophy 2022 – 23 season with 634 runs in 11 innings, with two hundreds to his name and an average of 57.63.

Pakistan Cricket Home Season Dismal End – Cricket Maiden

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Indians face a problem-of-plenty as far as their batsmen are concerned.

India’s Multiple Bowling Options

Jasprit Bumrah has not been a part of the team for over a year. He is nursing a back injury and India will sorely miss him in England. However, India’s fast bowling armoury has plenty of firepower. Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav have been selected in the squad with Shardul Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat acting as the possible back-ups.

Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel have all been included in India’s WTC Final squad. Ashwin and Jadeja had claim to 47 Australian scalps in the recently concluded Border – Gavaskar Trophy. Axar enjoyed his time with the bat and bailed India out of difficult situations more than once.

Which of these six bowlers will get the green tick will depend on the pitch prepared for the WTC Final. Traditionally, the Oval wicket is flat and dry. It is good for batting and helps the spinners. However, if the hosts decide to make things interesting by giving a green top, then there could be heartbreaks and shuffles in the Indian bowling line-up.

Australians Put their Faith in Warner

David Warner finds himself in the squad despite calls for his retirement from many Aussie greats. His elbow hairline fracture kept him partially out of the Border – Gavaskar Trophy, but he is up and running, ready to open with Usman Khwaja for the Australian Team in the WTC Final.

Australians Pumped Up for WTC Final at Oval

The Aussie hopes will be pinned on their middle order which comprises of Steven Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head. All these three players feature in the Top 10 ICC Test Rankings for Batsmen. Head, in particular, has shown his destructive opening abilities against the Indians in the Border – Gavaskar Trophy and in the previous Ashes Series. He has a Test average of 45.40, which has taken an upturn in the recent times. Despite opening against India in BGT 2023, in the absence of David Warner, Travis Head is likely to get the Number 5 spot in the WTC Final.

Find Rizwan Haider on Youtube –

(2) Legend Kohli 82* lone warrior takes the match from Pakistan’s grip |World Witnessed Picasso of chase – YouTube

The Dangerous Aussie Bowlers

Australia has always been known for their quicks breathing fire and their spinners getting the wickets with wile. The Aussie fast bowlers will come out with Pat Cummins as their captain and spearhead, Josh Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc. Hazelwood has a prolific record in English conditions. He has played 8 Test matches and has claimed 36 wickets at an average of 25.83.

The spin department will be entrusted on the ever- dependable Nathan Lyon. Todd Murphy showed potential in India, but his inclusion will again depend on the pitch which is prepared. The Aussies have the option of going ahead with Cameron Green or Mitchell Marsh as their fast-bowling all-rounders.

As the curtains come down on the IPL 2023, the heat on the WTC Final will be on the rise. Some Indian batters are already being instructed by the BCCI to start practicing with Duke balls. Rotational policy is being implemented in the current IPL, keeping in mind the WTC Final and the ODI World Cup later this year. As the crescendo reaches its peak, the cricket fans across the world eagerly wait for the battle of the titans – the Indians taking on the Australian Test Team at the Oval for the coveted WTC Title!

WTC Final Indian Team Squad (15 member)

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin. Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.

WTC Final Australian Team (17 member to be trimmed to 15)

Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis. Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vice-captain), Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

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