With the World Test Championship (WTC) Final scheduled to begin on June 7, the number one ranked team, India, will face a dilemma in selecting their finest eleven for the crucial match against Australia. The runner-up in the previous WTC would be aiming to win the championship this time around, as they were defeated by New Zealand by eight wickets in the previous competition.
One of the most difficult selection decisions for Rahul Dravid and company concerns the wicketkeeper for the crucial Test. KL Rahul, 31, will miss the tournament due to a thigh injury he sustained during the Indian Premier League (IPL), joining players such as Rishabh Pant, who has been sidelined for some time following a severe car accident. Consequently, only KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan remain as options for wicketkeeper, as a result of which the selection of a wicketkeeper has been significantly hampered.
Dinesh Karthik, the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman, cited this concern when he stated that Bharat should be the obvious selection because fielding Kishan in such a crucial match as a debutant is a difficult decision. With this minor advantage, the team management cannot field a rookie in the championship game, so KS Bharat may make the starting lineup.
“I believe Bharat will be the obvious choice because playing Ishan Kishan in his debut and a Test match immediately before the World Test Championship Final is a bit too much to ask,” Karthik stated on The ICC Review.
On June 7, 2023, India and Australia will clash at The Oval in London. The team captained by Rohit Sharma would undoubtedly hope to win the finals and end a 10-year drought without an ICC Trophy. Even though India recently won a Test series against Australia at home, playing Australia in England will be a completely different ball game.
India is currently the top-ranked Test team with 121 ratings, followed closely by Australia at number two with 116 ratings. The WTC Final matchup between the top two teams will therefore be a matchup of colossal proportions.