Former India captain and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batter Ajinkya Rahane was rewarded for his spectacular form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season when he was recalled to the Team India squad for the World Test Championships (WTC) final against Australia at the Oval from June 7. Rahane has been in sensational form after making his debut for MS Dhoni-led CSK earlier this season, with a strike-rate of over 199, and replaced injured Shreyas Iyer in the team.
Apart from Rahane, most of the team for the WTC final remains the same as the side which faced Australia in the four-match Test series in March this year. Mumbai and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Shardul Thakur also returns to the side and will get another opportunity to play in the WTC Final after taking part in the inaugural one last year against New Zealand, which India lost.
_ NEWS _#TeamIndia squad for ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final announced.
— BCCI (@BCCI) April 25, 2023
Rahane has scored 209 runs from just 5 matches with two half-centuries including a blazing 71 not out in the last match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata last week. The Mumbai batter has a strike-rate of 199.04 so far in IPL 2023.
The CSK batter has been out of the Indian Test squad for over 17 months now. Rahane has turned out in 83 Tests for India and scored 4,931 runs at an average of 38.52 with 12 hundreds and 25 fifties and a top-score of 188.
The 34-year-old India batter has an impressive record against Australia, with over 1,000 runs in Test cricket at an average of 37.58 with 2 hundreds and 5 fifties. Rahane was the captain of the Indian side which won the ‘Border-Gavaskar’ Trophy in Australia in 2021.
Rohit Sharma will be keen to make up for the disappointment of losing the inaugural WTC final to Kane Williamson’s New Zealand. The Black Caps defeated India by eight wickets in Southampton in 2021.
India’s bowling attack will feature the likes of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav apart from all-rounders Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as well as Axar Patel. The Indian openers for the WTC final will be expected to be skipper Rohit and Shubman Gill. The middle-order batting position will probably be a toss-up between KL Rahul and Rahane.
India’s Test squad WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.