A few days ago, Dinesh Karthik gave an early report on the pitch at The Oval. This started a discussion about which players India should pick for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) against Australia. The main point of this conversation is whether India should play both spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, or rest Ashwin in favor of a fourth seamer.
Also, there were worries about India’s hitting skills and their ability to deal with Australia’s fast bowlers, especially if the pitch stayed green. Karthik said he thought the Indian team’s leaders might think about picking Umesh Yadav over R. Ashwin. This was different from what other experts, like Ricky Ponting, thought. Ponting thought India should play both spinners.
Karthik pointed out that Ashwin played well in the Southampton Test against England last year. He also said that Umesh has looked great in practice and seems to be in good shape.
“I liked watching Ashwin bowl in Southampton, but is the coach going to make him do it again?” I doubt it. Umesh Yadav’s bowling in the nets has been good. He looks good and feels good in his body. Karthik told Cricbuzz, “I have a strong feeling they’ll choose Umesh.”
Karthik also talked about Virat Kohli’s form going into the WTC final, pointing out that he had scored two centuries in a row in the IPL 2023. “Right from the start, he hit the ball very well. In the last game of the IPL, he got 70 against the Mumbai Indians in the first game. This showed that he was a very good player. The two hundred he made were amazing. Karthik said, “Kohli is in great shape, and I have no doubt he will get a good score.”
But Karthik gives Cheteshwar Pujara’s part in the batting order more value than Kohli does. Pujara is in the final because he had a great season in the County Championship for Sussex, where he scored 545 runs, including three centuries.
“Cheteshwar Pujara is the key to India’s success in the WTC final and their chances of winning,” Karthik said.