The Indian Cricket has already started practicing in Southampton. Just eight days are left for the World Test Championship final match to begin and to follow the COVID-19 protocols, these players are practicing in groups consisting of just three or four players and they’ll be able to practice all XI together when once their quarantine is over.
This so-called “practice” is just like a warmup. After their “soft” quarantine gets over, the whole team would get together for practice from Friday. It will be quite interesting to see as to which fast bowler would be selected for the playing XI. Amongst them, Mohammad Siraj has become the center of attraction. It is quite understandable that Virat Kohli wants him to be on the team when the match begins on June 18.
The team management is going to have a hard time making this call. After India toured the West Indies in August 2019, this has happened for the first time that Ishant Sharma, Muhammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah, all would be available together for the selection. And all three of them have been quite successful in India’s overseas matches in the past few years.
Amidst all this, there are reports which suggest that Ishant Sharma could be given rest if the team management thinks that Siraj can hit well during training before the game. A phase-out process could also be used for Ishant Sharma.
The main objective for this is that a pacer is quite prepared for bowling for longer durations without losing the intensity in the game. Sharma has done this for the team for the last 10 years. Indian Cricket Team is also looking for a bowler who could bowl bouncers continuously if needed and can also keep a check on New Zealand’s batting.
Ishant Sharma has quite a successful run while playing test matches in England as out of the 101 test matches that he has played, 12 matches he has played in England and India have won in all of them.