Aakash Chopra has picked his playing XI for India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand. India will face-off against New Zealand in the summit clash at the Ageas Rose Bowl in Southampton, starting June 18 (Friday).
The top 2 teams in Test cricket, New Zealand and India, have excellent bench strength, and picking an XI out of the squad is always tough for the team management. It’s easy to criticize the people if a selection gamble doesn’t work out.
This headache however isn’t as big for the experts and fans in the cricketing world and hence they engage in such debates. Aakash Chopra is the latest to join the party as he picked his Indian playing XI for the final.
Aakash started with openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma, pretty standard for most people although Mayank Agarwal stands a chance due to experience. Following the openers were Cheteshwar Pujara, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, and wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant.
Aakash Chopra lower order and bowling attack for the final
The ex-cricketer turned commentator named Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin as his all-rounders at no.7 and no.8. Although the conditions in Southampton aren’t usually conducive to spin, Jadeja and Ashwin are automatic choices since they’ve proven they’re capable of contributing in the lower order.
The only surprising exclusion came in the bowling attack. Given Mohammed Siraj’s recent exploits in Australia, several would pick him ahead of Shami or Ishant but Aakash Chopra went with the experienced regulars of the Indian squad. He picked Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami to round off his playing XI.
Aakash Chopra’s playing XI for India in the WTC Final
Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.