Sarfaraz Khan, Ruturaj Gaikwad amongst 5 back-ups for ICC WTC final vs Australia – Reports

Vikhyat Jain

April 27 2023
Sarfaraz Khan, Ruturaj Gaikwad

According to reports, 5 players including Sarfaraz Khan have been named as back-ups for India’s squad for the ICC WTC final vs Australia.

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sarfaraz Khan, and Ishan Kishan have been named as the standby players for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia as per TOI reports. While Gaikwad and Sarfaraz have been named as specialist batters, Kishan has been named as a wicketkeeper batter. BCCI have also named Navdeep Saini and Mukesh Kumar as standby bowlers for the summit clash against Australia set to be played at Oval from June 7 to 11.

It will be a huge opportunity for all of these 5 players as they will be in the contingency plan for the WTC Final slated to take place soon after the IPL gets over.

In addition to leaving early for WTC final, the BCCI is musing about arranging a multi-day warm-up game leading up to the WTC final in England. With Team India players returning from IPL 2023 season, the BCCI wants players to get used to the playing conditions in London. Wanting no stone left unturned, Head Coach Rahul Dravid, the coaching staff, and the ousted players from IPL Playoffs will leave for England on May 23.

Ajinkya Rahane's Return TimelineAjinkya Rahane’s Return Timeline

Ajinkya Rahane has made a not-so-surprised comeback to the team given his form in the IPL and Shreyas Iyer’s unavailability due to an injury. It will be interesting to see whether he gets included in the final XI or not.

Back-to-back WTC finals for Team India as they aim to bring glory this time

It was the WTC Final against New Zealand in June 2021 when India were thumped by New Zealand under Virat’s captaincy. Facing Australia in the seam-friendly conditions of England will not be an easy challenge either. Rohit Sharma’s men will have to be at the top of their game in order to win the coveted cup.

From the last time’s squad, there has been an inclusion of a few fresh faces – some because of injury issues to the mainstays while the other ones on the merit of performances in the last couple of years. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, the pace-attack will be in control of Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Umesh Yadav who are likely to play in the game. Whereas KS Bharat will be the choice to go with behind the stumps.

Another interesting selection call would be the inclusion of Rahane in the middle order and either Axar Patel or Shardul Thakur as the all-rounders. Although in the England conditions, it is likely that Shardul Thakur might get a green signal ahead of Axar Patel.

India’s Squad for the ICC WTC final vs Australia:

India squad for ICC WTC 2021-23 final vs AustraliaIndia squad for ICC WTC 2021-23 final vs Australia.

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