Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has chipped in with an interesting opinion about the Indian team’s playing XI for the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand. The Indian batting great is of the view that Team India might as well drop one spinner from their line-up.
On Thursday, the Indian team management finalized their playing XI as the selectors went with two spinners namely Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja and picked three pacers namely Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
Nonetheless, the rain gods ruined the party on Day 1 as the opening day was abandoned without the ball being bowled. Earlier, the toss was postponed due to heavy rains and the first session was also called off for the same reason. The persistent rain forced the officials to abandon the opening day’s play.
India might replace one of their spinners with a seamer: Sunil Gavaskar
As per the rules, if there is any weather change, a cricket team is permitted to change their playing XI before the toss. The weather forecast suggests that Southampton would be cloudy throughout the WTC final. Meanwhile, Gavaskar reckons that India will replace one of their spinners with a pacer.
In this scenario, the in-form Mohammed Siraj has a great chance of playing in the WTC final and it will be interesting to see which one of the spinners would make room for Siraj. Ashwin took 12 wickets in 3 Test matches against Australia whereas Jadeja improved quite a lot with his batting especially in the last couple of years.
Nonetheless, Gavaskar feels India might as well be thinking about adding an extra batsman. If that’s the scenario then Hanuma Vihari’s name will be discussed according to the former Indian cricketer.
“See, they might have announced the team yesterday, [but] nothing is finalized until the captains share the sheets with each other during the toss. So, you can change the team till the very last moment. As a captain, when I used to be confused between playing a spinner or an extra batsman, I used to see the opposition’s eleven and scratch and change the team on my paper just before the toss,” Gavaskar told Aaj Tak.
“So, the eleven can be changed anytime before the toss. So I feel like maybe they’ll think of playing another batsman because of the weather. Because these conditions are suitable for New Zealand fast bowlers so Rishabh Pant is at six, he might shift to seven and an extra batsman might play. Seeing this weather, one spinner might be dropped.”