The World Test Championship final, which will be held at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton between India and New Zealand on June 18, is less than a month away.
The BCCI named a strong 20-member squad earlier this month that will travel to the United Kingdom to play in the WTC final and the subsequent five-Test series against hosts England.
Meanwhile, former India pacer Ashish Nehra has weighed in on the possible bowling combination India could go with, that will decide the winner of the inaugural World Test Championship. Ahead of the marquee clash, Nehra said that the pacers from the sides will be expected to play a crucial role as the English condition suits them.
Nehra feels that India should go with two spinners and three pacers as the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will bolster the Indian attack. The reason behind choosing Jadeja and Ashwin, Nehra reckons, has to do with the fact that both players can bat well.
Though Nehra was all praises on New Zealand’s seam attack including Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, he seemed doubtful about Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson.
“Of course, both India and New Zealand have very good fast bowlers. But if you look at our bowlers, (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami can bowl well even on flatter decks.
“New Zealand’s attack, meanwhile, has Trent Boult and Neil Wagner. Boult is a class bowler, while Wagner too is experienced. However, I am not sure how effective will Tim Southee be where there is not enough swing on offer. Kyle Jamieson is a good prospect, but he does need a little more experience,” Nehra told The Telegraph.
“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 (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja as the spinners. If Jadeja and Ashwin are in the XI, the team will have all bases covered in terms of bowling,” Nehra explained.
India vs New Zealand WTC Final
New Zealand were the first team to book a final berth in the inaugural World Test Championship. They will lock horns against India in the ultimate cash. The India vs New Zealand contest will be played at Southampton from June 18 to 22. India have announced a 24-man squad for the all-important fixture.
Here is the India squad for WTC Final 2021 –
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla