Following the conclusion of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, members of Team India are currently preparing for the WTC final. In the WTC final, which will be held at the Kennington Oval in London from June 7 to June 11, the Indian team will face Australia.
India came in second in the WTC 2021-23 league stage, with Australia coming out on top. By winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a score of 2-1, Rohit Sharma and co. secured their spot in the final Test match. India will compete in their second World Test Championship final after reaching the final in the inaugural tournament, which ended in 2021.
Team India had a good chance of winning the first World T20 Championship, but they lost to New Zealand by eight wickets in the final in Southampton in June 2021.
We examine three major concerns India faces ahead of the WTC final against Australia as they resume their quest for that elusive ICC victory.
1 Making the mental transition from the T20 format to the Test format
India’s greatest concern heading into the WTC final will be the fact that most of their players will immediately switch to red-ball cricket from the T20 format. With the exception of Cheteshwar Pujara and KS Bharat, everyone else in the Indian squad for the WTC summit match was involved in the IPL.
On the off chance that we discuss getting acquainted with conditions, Pujara has had the best arrangements. He has scored up 545 runs in eight innings for Sussex at a normal of 68.12 in Region Title Division Two. However, this cannot be said for the remainder.
Bharat has not played any serious cricket since the Boundary Gavaskar Prize against Australia, which closed toward the beginning of Spring. The IPL has only been over for a few days.
Even though players whose teams left the tournament before the playoffs began arrived in England earlier than the others, it is still possible that they will still be playing T20 cricket in the WTC final.
Professional cricketers are expected to switch between formats mentally and technically. Yet, it is more difficult than one might expect.
2 Rohit Sharma’s form
The team’s batting form across all formats is another major concern heading into the WTC final against an impressive Australian team. While playing for Mumbai Indians (MI), the right-handed batter had a forgettable IPL 2023 campaign.
He scored 332 runs in 16 matches, with two half-centuries and a best of 65, at a poor average of 20.75 and strike rate of 132.80. Rohit never gave the impression of being in charge, and he dismissed a number of people softly.
Rohit led Team India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy prior to the IPL. He scored a phenomenal 120 in the Nagpur Test yet neglected to duplicate his exhibitions in any of the resulting matches. In his remaining five innings, he reached 30 in three of them, but his highest score was 35.
Talking about his structure in white-ball designs for India, he scored up an ODI ton against New Zealand in Indore back in January. Before that, he had a poor T20 World Cup 2022 mission, scoring 116 runs in six innings at a normal of under 20 and a disappointing strike pace of 106.42.
To put it succinctly, Rohit has performed subpar across all formats over the past year or so, which is not a positive sign heading into the WTC final.
3 The missing pieces in the middle order
Team India appears to be a little weak in the batting department because of injuries, particularly in the middle order. They are without Rishabh Pant, who, even in Test cricket, can turn a match around on his own.
While Gasp is recovering following his auto collision last year, India should trust Bharat or Ishan Kishan, whoever plays, lifts their game.
Additionally, with Shreyas Iyer out with an injury, India have turned to Ajinkya Rahane, who impressed in the IPL 2023 for Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Rahane scored 326 runs in 14 matches at a strike rate of 172.49, playing an unusually aggressive style of cricket.
While Rahane searched in extraordinary touch in the IPL, his determination for the WTC last is most certainly a bet that accompanies its own arrangement of dangers.