The selectors are going to announce the Indian Squad for the World Test Championship (WTC), against New Zealand in the next 48 hours.
As per reports of Cricbuzz, the selectors are expected to pick a jumbo squad consisting of at least four openers, about four to five middle-order batsmen, eight to nine pacers, four to five spinners and two to three wicketkeeper.
However, regarding the size of the squad, the final call will be taken by the BCCI advisory on whether to select the squad for the five-Test series set to be played in England or just for the WTC final.
However, if reports to be believed the team management is going to ask for a large continent so that they can play a few intra-squad games before the final battle. Notably, the final will be held in Southampton from June 18 to 23.
Will Hardik Pandya Be Picked For WTC Final?
As per Cricbuzz, we cannot expect too many changes in the squad as the Chetan Sharma-led committee is expected to retain almost all the players, who were part of the four-Test home series against England in February-March with a few exceptions.
The only topic which is still under debate is the presence of Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the squad. However, reports are coming that the committee will go with other options as Hardik has not been bowling regularly.
With Several Opening Options Available, Is There Room For Shaw?
The next big name, which can make it to the squad is the hard-hitting Mumbai batsman, Prithvi Shaw. He had a great time in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League. However with four other openers – Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal — almost certain, the young Mumbai opener may miss out on it. He has a chance, nevertheless.
Will Prasidh Krishna Get A Place in India’s Pace Attack?
In pace department, we can expect Kolkata Knight Riders’ skilled pacer Prasidh Krishna. He had a great IPL 2021 season. However, the 25-year old Karnataka bowler is expected to clash with Delhi’s Navdeep Saini but the team management is believed to be impressed with Prasidh and this time, he can make his way to the squad.
Players To Be Retained
The other pacers who could be on the flight will be the expected ones – Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur. Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who missed out on the England Tests are also expected to make a comeback.
The two other Indian players who can make a comeback in the upcoming big battle is Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari. The two had not appeared in the England series but will find favour with the selectors, the latter mainly because he is currently playing in England and the former is an automatic choice in any India XI.
As for spinners, R Ashwin and Axar Patel will be called on duty. Middle order will be as same as it was in March — Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli. Washington Sundar is also likely to be retained in the squad. KS Bharat could be in contention for the third wicketkeeper’s role but regulars Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha are certainties.
The travelling date for Team India is still unknown. The earlier plan was to take off from Ahmedabad after the conclusion of the IPL 2021 on June 2 by a charter flight.