The Indian cricket team is set to play their 2nd WTC final, against Australia at The Oval, London on June 07-11. Last time, Team India misses out on the opportunity to win the ICC WTC 2019-21 against New Zealand (NZ) in the final.
Indian cricket team has done well to play their 2nd straight ICC WTC final. When the Bordar-Gavaskar Trophy started, the position to play the final was at stake. But they beat Australia at home by 2-1 (four match series) to get the ticket to another WTC final.
Today, we will talk about who will be the wicketkeeper in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final 2023.
Team India has announced their squad for the ICC WTC final 2023 in which Ajinkya Rahane made a strong comeback into the squad. Along with that, Team India has gone with three spinners (Axar Patel, R Ashwin, and Ravindra Jadeja).
The pace battery is intact with some sure-shot inclusions like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, C Pujara, etc.
KL Rahul kept his place
There are some questions about KL Rahul’s selection in the squad for the WTC final because of his lean patch in international cricket. His form has cost him a place in the playing XI, especially in test cricket where he is not scoring runs. He is also struggling to get going in the IPL 2023. Although, he has played some knocks, but not as fluent as we used to see from KL Rahul.
KS Bharat, the only wicket-keeping option in the team
Now, with Rishabh Pant is not available for selection, he is the 2nd wicket-keeping option in the team.
Rishabh Pant is not available for selection because of his accident a few months ago. And he is recovering to get back into the field.
The BCCI and the selectors have announced only one proper wicket keeper (KS Bharat) in the 15-man squad to play against Australia in the ICC WTC final. So if in case Bharat got injured, the only option left in the team is KL Rahul. KL Rahul has never kept wickets in the longer format for Team India. Although he kept wickets for the Indian team in white ball cricket (both ODIs and T20Is), and for his domestic team, he still hasn’t shown his potential as a wicketkeeper in red ball cricket.
Ishan Kishan dropped from the team
The selectors have dropped Ishan Kishan from the team who played against Australia at home earlier this month. Otherwise, he will be the next option for Team India after KS Bharat.
Who will be the wicketkeeper in the ICC WTC final 2023? KS Bharat or KL Rahul?
KS Bharat will surely be the first-choice wicketkeeper. He is most likely to keep wickets in the ICC WTC final 2023 against Australia at the Oval.
KS Bharat has done well in his debut series at home against Australia on those difficult turning wickets as far as his keeping is concerned. And he is a proper wicketkeeper who has also kept wickets in the red ball format for his state team.
It will be challenging for him to keep wickets in England where the ball sometimes swung even after it pasts the stumps.
Why not KL Rahul?
KL Rahul is not a proper wicketkeeper and hasn’t kept wickets in red-ball format. Wicketkeeping is a very hard thing to do. Especially when the conditions are alien to you. Keeping for 90 overs is a very big task. And it should be done by a seasoned player.
So that is why, KS Bharat is the option for wicketkeeping in the ICC WTC final. KL Rahul will only keep wickets in the WTC final if KS Bharat gets injured. Then Team India has no other options left.
Maybe the selectors add one more wicketkeeper to the team before the team goes to England. But they probably wouldn’t add the wicketkeeper now, as they would have done it in the first place if they wanted to.
Team India’s squad for the WTC final 2023-
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.
Australia’s squad for the ICC WTC final 2023-
Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner.
Let’s see how KS Bharat does. And how Team India does in the final. They will look to go one step better from the last WTC final. And it will be challenging for them against the Aussies’ pace battery, which includes captain Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc, etc.
What is your prediction? Who will win? India or Australia? Comment your answer below.
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