The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named a 15-member squad for the 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship Final, wherein India will take on Australia at The Oval in London, commencing on 7 June. With Shreyas Iyer out injured, Ajinkya Rahane has been recalled into the red-ball squad, having last represented India over a year ago.
Rahane, notably, has been in scintillating form with the bat in the ongoing 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Representing the four-time champions, Chennai Super Kings, he has accumulated 209 runs at an average of 52.25, and more importantly, at an incredible strike rate of 199.04. He also has struck a couple of half-centuries – one of them being the joint second fastest of the season.
Rahane’s inclusion comes after Shreyas Iyer, a fellow batter from Mumbai who had been doing well in the Test format, had to undergo back surgery, and subsequently, was not available for selection.
Barring Iyer, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is also not a part of the team, as he too is recovering from a back issue.
The pace quartet of Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat have all retained their places from the Border Gavaskar Trophy, whilst interestingly, the selectors have named an additional seamer in Shardul Thakur.
The 31-year-old has scalped 27 wickets in eight red-ball appearances for the national team, with his last match being against England in July 2022. With the track at the English capital not being conducive to the spinners, Kuldeep Yadav has not been included in the squad.
No Place for Suryakumar Yadav, Bharat Retains Spot
In terms of the batting department, a poor run in international cricket has cost Suryakumar Yadav his place in the team. The swashbuckler made his Test debut at Nagpur earlier this year, but could only score eight runs. With Rishabh Pant still unavailable, KS Bharat has retained his place in the squad, despite scoring only 101 runs in the four Tests at the 2023 Border Gavaskar Trophy.
India’s Test squad for WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.