After the conclusion of the Indian Premier League in 2023, Team India must now focus on Test cricket. Under the stewardship of Rohit Sharma, the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia will take place the following week. Prior to competing in the WTC summit match, the team management appears mildly concerned about a wicketkeeper issue. Due to KL Rahul’s injury and Rishabh Pant’s unavailability, the selection committee was compelled to add Ishan Kishan to India’s WTC final squad. However, Ishan could be sidelined due to the presence of KS Bharat in the squad.
Similarly, the former head coach of India, Ravi Shastri, stated that India should select their keeper based on the overall composition of their bowling attack. Notably, in their most recent home-based Test series against Australia, they chose Bharat over Kishan. Shastri predicted that if conditions at The Oval necessitated the use of two spinners, they would likely follow suit.
“I have a feeling that India will play two spinners, possibly KS Bharat, depending on who is participating. Alternatively, if there are four seamers and one spinner, Ishan Kishan will likely be successful. There will be six Jadeja, seven Mohammed Shami, eight Mohammed Siraj, and nine Shardul Thakur. Ravichandran Ashwin will bat at number 11 and Umesh Yadav will bat at number 12, Ravi Shastri said on Star Sports.
Ravi Shastri’s opinion on Wicketkeeper selection for the WTC Final
Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav, according to Ravi Shastri, are in a fierce competition for the eleventh position. The former head coach also anticipated that the weather would play a factor in determining Team India’s final playing XI. When conditions are cloudy, it is commonly believed that pacers may be more valuable from the wicket than spinners.
“Depending on the conditions, Umesh and Shardul will play alongside Siraj and Shami if four seamers are required. It will be Ashwin, Jadeja, Shardul, Shami, and Siraj if two spinners play, which should be the case at The Oval given the current weather conditions in England, which are occasionally sunny and pleasant.
Shastri participated as a coach in the inaugural WTC final, so he has a thorough understanding of English conditions. In a match against New Zealand in Southampton two years ago, Team India fielded three fast bowlers and two spinners despite the cloudy conditions virtually eliminating the use of spin.
Regarding the expertise of the players, KS Bharat has represented India in four Test matches. Bharat has scored 101 runs and has a run average of 20.20. He was last observed participating in March’s fourth Border-Gavaskar Test against Australia. In contrast, Ishan Kishan has never played for India in a Test match.