No R Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, or Shubman Gill! Ravi Shastri picks his best combined XI for WTC Final

Shastri thinks Aussie skipper Pat Cummins still lacks experience and that is why Rohit Sharma will lead the side.


No R Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, or Shubman Gill! Ravi Shastri picks his best combined XI for WTC Final

Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravi Shastri, Shubman Gill

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri, as the build-up to the most-awaiting ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and Australia at The Oval, was asked to reveal his best combined playing XI. Though Shastri claimed choosing the XI is a daunting task due to the presence of world-class players, he picked up four Indians and seven Australians.

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Shastri thinks Aussie skipper Pat Cummins still lacks experience and that is why Rohit Sharma will lead the side. But the 60-year-old admitted that if Steve Smith was captain of Australia, his answer would have been different.

As Rohit’s opening partner, Shastri chose Usman Khawaja over Shubman Gill and David Warner. Only Khawaja had scored more runs than England’s Joe Root during the 2021-23 WTC cycle.

The No.3, No.4, and No.5 players were easy preferences for Shastri as he included No.1 Test batter Marnus Labushcagne, followed by Virat Kohli, and Steve Smith for the positions.

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Ravi Shastri picks Nathan Lyon over Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravi Shastri picks Nathan Lyon over Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin wreaked havoc with his deliveries when Australia toured India for the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy. But Ravi Shastri thinks though it’s quite difficult to leave out Ashwin from the XI, Nathan Lyon‘s numbers overseas make him the front-line spinner in his XI.

The reason why I picked Nathan Lyon ahead of Ashwin is because of Nathan’s overseas record,” Shastri told Sanjana Ganesan. “Not just in Australia, but outside Australia, and (Lyon is) probably stronger to bowl those overs in England if needed.” So Lyon and Ravindra Jadeja filled the spin department.

The 1983 World Cup-winning player then chose players for the pace department which was an easy task for him as he picked up Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Mohammed Shami.

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Ravi Shastri’s combined India-Australia Test XI- Rohit Sharma (c), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Ravindra Jadeja, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Star, Nathan Lyon, Mohammed Shami.

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