CricketRavi Shastri Makes A Choice For Wicketkeeper Position In Upcoming WTC Final Against Australia
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As India prepares for the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, the team management faces a crucial decision regarding the wicketkeeper position.

With two relatively inexperienced candidates vying for the role – KS Bharat, who has played only four Tests, and Ishan Kishan, yet to debut in the format – head coach Ravi Shastri believes that the final choice may be influenced by the conditions at The Oval.

In an interview with Star Sports, Shastri expressed his opinion that India should select their wicketkeeper based on the composition of their bowling attack.

In their recent Test series against Australia at home in February-March, India opted for KS Bharat over Ishan Kishan. Shastri suggested that a similar decision might be made if the conditions at The Oval favor the inclusion of two spinners.


“I have a feeling that India might just go with, depending on who’s playing – if two spinners are playing, maybe KS Bharat, but if there are four seamers and one spinner playing, then it’ll go the other way, it might go Ishan Kishan’s way,” Shastri said.

Ravi Shastri, drawing from his experience in a WTC final as coach, acknowledged the impact of conditions on team selection. In the previous final against New Zealand in Southampton, India opted for three fast bowlers and two spinners due to overcast weather conditions that limited the effectiveness of spin.

While Ravichandran Ashwin had a significant impact, picking up four wickets at an impressive economy rate, Ravindra Jadeja had limited opportunities because conditions didn’t suit his bowling attack. New Zealand, who fielded five seamers, emerged victorious by eight wickets.

Traditionally, spin plays a significant role at The Oval. However, the challenge for India lies in the fact that Test matches at the venue are usually scheduled during the warmer and drier second half of the English summer.

Out of the 104 Tests held at The Oval since 1880, the majority took place in August and September, with only eight starting in July. The WTC final, commencing on June 7, will be the first-ever Test match at The Oval played in June. Despite the unusual timing, Shastri indicated a preference for a two-spinner combination, considering the predominantly sunny weather the UK has experienced this summer.

Alongside the wicketkeeper, Shastri expressed certainty about the other members of his chosen 12 for the final, with Ashwin and fast bowler Umesh Yadav competing for one spot in India’s five-man attack. Shastri emphasized the importance of selecting a team that suits the prevailing conditions, drawing lessons from India’s previous experience in the WTC final.


His preferred 12 for the match includes Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara at three, Virat Kohli at four, Ajinkya Rahane at five, Ravindra Jadeja at six, Mohammed Shami at seven, Mohammed Siraj at eight, Shardul Thakur at nine, R. Ashwin at eleven, and Umesh Yadav as the twelfth player.

Depending on the conditions, if four seamers are selected, Umesh and Shardul would join Siraj and Shami in the playing XI. However, if two spinners are chosen, which is likely at The Oval given the current weather in England, the team would consist of Ashwin, Jadeja, Shardul, Shami, and Siraj.

As India deliberates on the final composition of their team, the decision regarding the wicketkeeper position holds significant weight, with the ultimate goal of securing victory in the prestigious WTC final against Australia.