New Delhi, June 4
India will be eyeing their first-ever ICC World Test Championship title when they lock horns with the mighty Australians in the final from June 7 onwards at The Oval, which also marks their second successive final in the tournament.
In India's great run in the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle, there have been some performers which put the entire nation and cricket fraternity in awe with their performances. In this two-year cycle, India saw lot of their players step up and emerge as match-winners for their side. Here, we look at some of India's best performers in the WTC 2021-23 cycle, who had a key contribution in India's journey towards the 'Ultimate Test'.
1) Cheteshwar Pujara
Pujara has been India's top scorer in the WTC 2021-23 cycle. In 16 matches, Pujara scored 887 runs at an average of 32.85. In 30 innings, Pujara scored a total of one century and six fifties, with the best score of 102*.
2) Virat Kohli
Despite having some lean months, Virat is still up there as India's top performers in WTC 2021-23 cycle. In 16 matches, he has scored 869 runs at an average of 32.18. In 28 innings, he scored one century and three half-centuries, with best score of 186.
3) Rishabh Pant
This swashbuckling wicketkeeper is perhaps India's most eye-pleasing batter of the WTC 2021-23 cycle and perhaps the most consistent one. In just 12 matches, he scored 868 runs at an average of 43.40. In 21 innings, Pant outdid his seniors to post two centuries and five fifties, with the best score of 146.
4) Ravindra Jadeja
The star all-rounder lived up to his status as a top-class act in Test cricket during these two years. In 12 matches, Jadeja scored 673 runs at an average of 37.38. In 19 innings, Jadeja scored two centuries and three fifties, with best score of 175*. He is India's fifth-highest scorer in the WTC 2021-23 cycle and made his case for playing as a pure batter more stronger in this time-span. The veteran all-rounder also employed his slow left-arm spin to take 43 wickets at an average of 23.23 and an economy rate of 2.40. His best bowling figures are 7/42.
5) Ravichandran Ashwin
This 36-year-old veteran spin bowling all-rounder continues to get better with age. He emerged as one of the key contributors to the team's success. In 13 Test matches, Ashwin took 61 wickets at an average of 19.67 and an economy rate of 2.48, with best bowling figures of 6/91. He is India's highest-wicket taker in the WTC 2021-23 cycle and also the third-highest wicket-taker overall. In 13 matches, he also scored 444 runs at an average of 23.36. Ashwin scored two valuable fifties and had the best score of 61. He also played numerous other key knocks for India in this two-year cycle.
6) Jasprit Bumrah
Though this Indian pace spearhead has been out of action for the last 8-9 months due to an injury, Bumrah still delivered every time he was on the field. In 10 matches, Bumrah took 45 wickets at an average of 19.73 and an economy rate of 2.70, with best bowling figures of 5/24. He is the tenth-highest wicket-taker in the 2021-23 cycle of WTC.
7) Mohammed Shami
This 32-year-old pace veteran also impressed with the ball in the 2021-23 WTC cycle. In 12 matches, he took 41 wickets at an average of 27.12 at an economy rate of 3.29, with best bowling figures of 5/29.
8) Mohammed Siraj
During the 2021-23 WTC cycle, Siraj presented his case to be India's next pace-bowling superstar with some match-winning performances. In 13 matches, this Hyderabad pacer took 31 wickets at an average of 32.86 and an economy rate of 3.54. He has the best bowling figures of 4/32.
India and Australia will lock horns in the WTC Final from June 7 onwards.
India's squad for WTC final Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (wk).
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Mukesh Kumar and Suryakumar Yadav have been named as stand-by players for the high-stakes match.
Australia squad Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner
Standby players Mitch Marsh, Matthew Renshaw.