WTC 2023 Final: Mohammad Kaif unveils his India playing XI for the mega event


Mohammad Kaif picks his India XI for WTC final

Team India will have their sights set on breaking a nearly decade-long drought for an ICC trophy as they compete in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia in London. The last time India secured an ICC trophy was in 2013, when they emerged victorious in the Champions Trophy under the leadership of MS Dhoni.

As the mega event is approaching, many former cricketers have started revealing their predictions and team combinations of both sides. Following the bandwagon, former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has picked his India playing XI for the summit clash.

Kaif went with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill as openers followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane to monitor the middle order. The cricketer-turned-commentator gave his views on the red-hot debate regarding who should keep for India between Ishan Kishan and KS Bharat.

Kaif reckoned Indian team needs some firepower at No. 6 in Rishabh Pant‘s absence and hence he picked Kishan over Bharat. Notably, Pant is not a part of the team as he continues to reover from the injuries he suffered in a car accident last year.

“For the World Test Championship, the openers should be Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma, followed by Pujara who plays at number three and has experience there. At number four would be Virat Kohli followed by Rahane who makes his return to the team. I would play Ishan Kishan over KS Bharat because you would want someone to play attacking shots at number six. Rishabh Pant used to play that role once the ball got old,” said Kaif while speaking to Star Sports.

Kaif went with Ravindra Jadeja at seven and had a toss up between Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur depending on the conditions. The Prayagraj-born cricketer opined if the pitch favours spin, he would opt for Ashwin as in such a scenario, Ashwin’s skills can be effectively utilized to target left-handed batters like David Warner, Travis Head, and Usman Khawaja.

“At seven, I will play Jadeja and at eight I would either play Ashwin or Shardul, depending on the pitch conditions, and if the pitch suits spin then Ashwin can target the left-handed batsmen like Warner, Travis Head and Khawaja, so it will be a good match up. I would take fast bowlers, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj followed by Umesh Yadav at number 11. This would be my preferred playing 11 because it’s early June, you will need three fast bowlers plus Jadeja and Ashwin or Shardul, depending on the forecast,” added Kaif.

Mohammad Kaif’s India playing XI for WTC Final: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin/Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav.

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