UPSC Practice recommends India must tick right boxes to wow at WTC.
With the talent pool at India’s disposal, the minimum aim is to qualify for these finals but they have gone almost a decade without picking up an ICC Trophy.
One of the most gifted bowling units in Indian cricket history will have one more chance to realise their dream of pocketing gold in Test cricket. It got a little nervy with Australia managing to win one and draw the final Test at Ahmedabad after going down 0–2 in the four-Test series. But thanks to some help from Kane Williamson and Co against Sri Lanka, India advanced to the final of the World Test Championship to be played in England in June. Of course, they have been here before, advancing to the final two years ago. But a combination of issues let them down as the Kiwis beat them on that occasion. With the talent pool at India’s disposal, the minimum aim is to qualify for these finals but they have gone almost a decade without picking up an ICC Trophy.
If anything, the challenge at The Oval will be bigger as they face Australia, whose bowling line-up is more suited to English conditions than Indian ones. Considering most of Australia’s Test specialists will either play in County cricket ahead of an Ashes series or be there already to acclimatise to the conditions, how India decides to tackle the twin challenges of a full Indian Premier League (IPL) as well as getting the players ready (the gap between the IPL finishing and the WTC final is about 10 days) will be interesting to see. Though the India think tank is mulling sending players early—as soon as their respective IPL matches get over—it needs to be seen how the Indian cricket board (BCCI) manages this. Practising with Duke balls in the middle of a white-ball premier event will be challenging too.
From an Indian perspective, they will most likely be without Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, two of their biggest Test match winners. There are other questions the management needs to answer. Who will share the new ball with Mohammed Shami? Is Shubman Gill a lock? What’s the latest with respect to Shreyas Iyer? One spinner or two spinners at The Oval, which has one of the flattest conditions in England. Shardul Thakur as a fast-bowling all-rounder? India has tended to get some of these answers wrong and that has meant a few reverses. With most of the team on the wrong side of 30 and desperate to pick something up to show their overall brilliance in Test cricket, the first step in reversing that trend is to pick the right choices.
Courtesy: The New Indian Express – Editorials