The All-India Senior Selection Committee revealed the 20-men Indian team for the World Test Championship final. In a surprising decision, Mohammed Siraj took place of Bhuvneshwar Kumar while all-rounder Hardik Pandya was skipped. Moreover, Ravindra Jadeja will also be making a return.
The BCCI on May 7 picked the 20-men Indian team for a tour of England that is to kick-off in June. The team will be playing a number of matches in the 4-month long tour. Arguably though, the most important match-up will be India taking on New Zealand on June 18 for the World Test Championship final. After that game, India will go on to play the hosts for a 5-Test series.
The BCCI in its statement said-
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked the Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final and the five-match Test series against England.”
“Team India’s first stop will be in Southampton where they play New Zealand to decide the first champion of the Test format. Following their 3-1 win against England at home, India finished as the No. 1 side with 72.2 percentage points and booked their place in the final,”
the statement further added.
ICYMI – A look at #TeamIndia's squad for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final and the five-match Test series against England. 👇
Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla pic.twitter.com/17J050QVT3
— BCCI (@BCCI) May 7, 2021
Before we analyze and dissect the team selection, let’s look at the 20-men squad
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).
Standby: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
Shiksha’s Analysis on Indian Squad for WTC Final
On Pandya and Bhuvi not making it
Although Hardik Pandya was for the longest time a constant member of the playing eleven, his fitness made him a liability for selectors. Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar not making it to the 20-member team does not come off as a big surprise as he has not played a first-class cricket game in the better part of the last 3 years.
Moreover, Kumar’s form in Test-cricket also made the selectors not select him. Instead, the selectors chose to put their fingers deep into the overall impressive length and breadth of the bench.
Three musketeers – Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur – selected
As anticipated by most cricket pundits, the magical trio of Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur made it into the final squad. The three players were important architects in the series victory over England.
Moreover, they were the unlikely script writers of Indian team’s victory over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar trophy at a time when major players were injured and out of the team. Who can forget an emotional Siraj during the national anthem blaring in Australia, or Washington Sundar’s overall performance with bat and bowl in England? If Siraj continues his form, he could stun New Zealand batsman with his sneaky-swinging deliveries.
Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Shami given another opportunity
In a surprising decision, the BCCI chose to have its faith on Shubman Gill despite his inconsistent form against England. Moreover, the selectors also chose Hanuma Vihari and gave Mohammed Shami another opportunity to redeem himself.
Prithvi Shaw overlooked, a massive injustice?
Another surprising decision came in form of the Prithvi Shaw not being selected. The youngster redeemed himself after he was ignored by the selectors post the Australian series. He went on to thrash almost every opposition in the Vijay Hazare Trophy scoring more than 800 runs. He continued his rich form in the now-postponed IPL, being the top contender of orange cap and scoring 308 runs from just 8 games.
India’s Tour of England Schedule
|India’s tour of England, 2021-22|
|A||18th – 22nd June||WTC Final vs NZ||Southampton|
|1||4th – 8th August||1st Test vs England||Nottingham|
|2||12th – 16th August||2nd Test vs England||London (Lord’s)|
|3||25th – 29th August||3rd Test vs England||Leeds|
|4||2nd – 6th September||4th Test vs England||London (Oval)|
|5||10th – 14th September||5th Test vs England||Manchester|