Team India is currently in England preparing for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand at Southampton starting from June 18.
Cricket analysts and fans are already excited for the grand event and are using their acumen to predict the winners and the playing combinations.
Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar too joined the bandwagon and took to Twitter to post his playing XI for India.
The 43-year-old went with the conventional choice of veteran batsman Rohit Sharma as opener. But, it was his second pick that stunned everyone since Agarkar preferred Mayank Agarwal over Shubman Gill. Agarwal was dropped after a poor performance against Australia in the Border Gavaskar trophy 2020/21 and was replaced by Gill.
While Gill proved his mettle against the Aussies, he couldn’t capitalize on the chances given to him in the England tour of India 2021.
For the third spot, Agarkar selected the bulwark of the Indian team Cheteshwar Pujara, followed by skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane.
The Mumbai-born chose Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper of his team.
Another query in the mind of the fans is India’s bowling line-up. Pitches in England favour swing and seam, and hence it would be a delight to watch Kohli’s decision of mixing his spinners and speedsters.
Agarkar decided to include two spinners and three pacemen in his list. He went with all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin for the seventh and eighth position. When coming to fast bowlers, Agarkar had Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in mind.
However, according to a recently leaked audio – Kohli’s discussion about his possible choice of pacers with head coach Ravi Shastri – mentioned Shami and Mohammed Siraj as the first choice. This combination had the media speculating over Ishant’s chances of playing in the marquee event.
Ajit Agarkar’s India’s Playing XI for the WTC final:
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
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