India is preparing themselves for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final to be played from June 18 to 22 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton against New Zealand.

The Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) will ponder whether to select the team for only the final or to pick a squad that will also play the five-Test series against England. The Chetan Sharma-led committee is expected to choose a unit that has four openers, five middle-order batsmen, nine pacers and three wicket-keepers.

However, the main deliberation will most probably be over Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw and Prasidh Krishna.

Pandya hasn’t been a member of the Indian Test team since his last away tour of England in 2018. The 27-year-old scalped four wickets in the three-match Test series.

Shaw, on the other hand, last played international cricket against Australia in December 2020. The Mumbaikar opened in the first Test of the four match leg but came up with measly scores of 0 and 4 in his two innings.

Meanwhile, Krishna is yet to make his debut for Team India in red-ball cricket. The right-arm pacer bagged six wickets in the three ODIs against England at home.

According to Cricbuzz, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill are likely to retain their spots as openers.

Among the pacers, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav will hold onto their places in the team. Also, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja will make a comeback into the Test squad along with Hanuma Vihari.

The four veterans of the game – Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin – will cling to their places.

Axar Patel and Washington Sundar might also get picked in India’s WTC final squad which is scheduled to be announced on Friday evening.

In the meantime, New Zealand have announced their squad for the England series and WTCH final against India.


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