Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has picked only Ravi Ashwin as India’s spin bowling option in WTC Final playing XI.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar is back again but this time with his predicted playing XI for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and New Zealand. The summit clash is set to begin on June 18 and various other experts and critics are putting their thinking hats on as to what the team combinations will look like.
Manjrekar has picked his team keeping the seam and swing condition on offer in England. The 55-year-old has excluded Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant Sharma from the playing XI. While the former is in form of his life by ticking all three aspects of the game, the latter is the most experienced fast bowler in these conditions.
The former batter also explained how the conditions are likely to affect the team combinations as in England, it tends to get sunny and cloudy on some days. He also feels Indians too will look into that aspect and pick the team accordingly.
“I’m assuming you have typical English conditions. I’m assuming there will be a mixture of sun and cloudy cover throughout the five days of the Test match if it goes the distance. So I’m picking the team accordingly,” Manjrekar told to ESPNcricinfo.
The 55-year-old’s two openers are Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma followed by Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane. While the top five were also on everyone’s list, it’s the inclusion of Hanuma Vihari at number six that has managed to grab eyeballs. Manjrekar feels Vihari, has a very good technique and he will be able to play well in the swing and seam conditions.
“Going to have Hanuma Vihari to reward him for his brilliant innings before he got injured. India will need somebody with a more compact defensive technique. Because the guys at the top of the order barring Pujara aren’t those kind. So I will have Hanuma Vihari at number 6. Pant at 7, considering India have hardly had any practice game. I just want to make sure the batting runs deep.”
Sanjay Manjrekar picks his bowlers for the WTC Final
Interestingly, Manjrekar has picked only Ravi Ashwin as India’s sole spinner for the marquee clash. His pace bowlers are Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammad Shami.
“Want Siraj, the swing bowler to be brought into the equation and the last time Siraj bowled overseason in Australia, got a five-wicket haul. Hard to leave a bowler like him out. You will be tempted to think of Siraj because when you look at Shami Bumrah and Ishant, they are more seam bowlers, hit the deck kind of bowler. Siraj might offer something different. I would go with Siraj. But India might play Ishant for obvious reasons.”
Sanjay Manjrekar’s playing XI for WTC final: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.