India’s pace bowler Mohammed Shami is currently in exceptional form. In the recently concluded IPL 2023, he took 28 wickets and won the Purple Cap as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker. The final of the World Test Championship will be played in England, where the conditions will be distinct from those in India. The players will need to adapt in order to have an impact.
Shami will be required to assume additional responsibility in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, as Steve Smith and Marnus Labuchagne can pose a threat in the middle. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting, discussing the significance of Shami, stated that for India to triumph, Shami must be at his absolute best.
“If India are to win this game, Mohammed Shami must step up or attempt to elevate his game to a higher level. In the most recent episode of ICC Review, Ponting stated, “When you talk to the Australian batters, they recognize how good Shami is, whether it’s with the new ball or the old ball, in Australia or India.”
Pandya might have been the wild card in the WTC final: Ponting stated that India should have considered all-rounder Hardik Pandya for the WTC final because he is currently in outstanding form. He believes that Hardik could have been India’s X-factor and the difference between the two squads.
“I pondered the other day how valuable someone like Hardik Pandya could be in a single Test match for India in this competition. I am aware that he has stated on record that Test match play is probably a tad taxing on his body. But for a one-off contest, he’s been bowling in every IPL match and bowling quickly. He (Pandya) could be the X-factor in a one-off game, where he would bat and bowl to demonstrate his abilities. He could be the determining factor between the two squads, said the 48-year-old.