The BCCI has announced Team India’s squads for the WTC final and the five-match Test series against England in August. The World Test Championship final will be played at Southampton from 18-22 June after which the five-match Test series against England starts from August 4.
The World Test Championship final is the next big event in the international cricket calendar after the IPL 2021 was suspended by the BCCI. The WTC final between India and New Zealand is a rematch in many ways of the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinal.
New Zealand beat India in the semifinal thus breaking all the hopes of an Indian World Cup win and probably the perfect swansong for MS Dhoni who retired from international cricket after the big event.
Both India and New Zealand played some fantastic cricket to get to the final. New Zealand beat teams like India, West Indies and Pakistan to reach the finals. They became the first team to reach the final after Australia postponed their tour to South Africa over COVID-19 concerns.
India, on the other hand, beat teams like England and Australia after losing to the Kiwis to kickstart their World Test Championship campaign Meanwhile, the squad announced by the BCCI for the WTC final is a full-strength squad. The likes of Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja has made a comeback to the squad after recovering from their respective injuries.
BCCI Announce Team India’s Squad For WTC Final & England Test Series
Meanwhile, Prithvi Shaw and Hardik Pandya failed to make the cut for the WTC final and the England series thereafter. Shaw had a consistent run in domestic cricket and even in the IPL 2021. However, the presence of Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal already in the line-up meant that Shaw’s place was always in doubt.
Hardik Pandya‘s inability to bowl has cost him his place in the squad. Indian skipper Virat Kohli very specifically explained the role of Hardik in India’s Test squad. He spoke about the balance which Hardik brings to the team when he bowls in the longest format of the game. Kuldeep Yadav also has been axed from the squad after he failed to perform in the limited opportunities that he got. T Natarajan and Navdeep Saini owing to injuries. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah has made a welcome return to the squad after his marriage and the injury he sustained ahead of the fourth Test against Australia.
Team India’s squad: 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
18th – 22nd June WTC Final vs NZ Southampton
4th – 8th August 1st Test vs England Nottingham
12th – 16th August 2nd Test vs England London (Lord’s)
25th – 29th August 3rd Test vs England Leeds
2nd – 6th September 4th Test vs England London (Oval)
10th – 14th September 5th Test vs England Manchester