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Dinesh Karthik's Pitch update Adds Twist to India's WTC Final Strategy

By Akanksha - June 6, 2023 - Last updated on Jun 06, 2023 06:58 PM
Dinesh Karthik's Pitch update Adds Twist to India's WTC Final Strategy

The much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia is just around the corner, and the cricketing world is abuzz with speculations and predictions. However, former Indian cricketer and current broadcaster Dinesh Karthik has brought some unsettling news for a few key players in the Indian squad.

With his recent tweets revealing the condition of the pitch at The Oval, Karthik has set the stage for a tough decision-making process for captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid. In this blog, we delve into the implications of the pitch conditions, the potential impact on players like Ashwin, Jadeja, Rohit, and Gill, and the possible XI that India might field.

The Unsettling Pitch:

Dinesh Karthik, who has landed in London as part of the broadcasting team, shared the first real glimpse of the pitch for the WTC final. The images unveiled an even covering of grass, indicating a distinctly green wicket at The Oval. While this might be exciting for fans eager to witness the battle between bat and ball, it brings some not-so-great news for India's premier spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, as well as the opening batsmen Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. The presence of grass suggests ample swing and assistance for pacers, particularly with the new ball.

The Spinners' Dilemma:

Playing both Ashwin and Jadeja in the XI might prove challenging given the conditions. These two spin-bowling all-rounders played pivotal roles in India's journey to their second successive WTC final. However, fielding both of them could leave India with a seamer shortage. If the pitch remains as it is, the chances of India opting for four specialist pacers would increase, unless the weather plays a significant role in drying out the moisture. Unfortunately, the forecast indicates rain during the weekend and cloudy, overcast conditions for the initial three days of the Test.

Learning from Past Mistakes:

India made the mistake of neglecting the overcast and rainy conditions in the previous WTC final, where both Ashwin and Jadeja struggled to make an impact, while the New Zealand seamers outperformed the Indian quicks. Now, with the lesson learned, captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid face the challenge of making the right decisions for the team's composition.

The Ashwin Conundrum:

Considering Ashwin's exceptional bowling prowess in overseas conditions, he remains a strong contender for a spot in the playing XI. Furthermore, Australia's top seven includes four left-handers, whom Ashwin has historically troubled. Additionally, he has had success against key Australian batsmen like Labuschagne and Steve Smith. However, the team needs to account for the absence of Rishabh Pant due to injury, which leaves the middle order thinner.

Crafting India's XI:

To accommodate Ashwin in the playing XI, India would require additional firepower in the batting unit if they decide to leave out Jadeja. One possibility could be introducing Ishan Kishan in place of KS Bharat, allowing Kishan to bat at six. Another adjustment could involve Shardul Thakur as the fourth seamer, replacing Jaydev Unadkat. Thakur's batting abilities make him a valuable asset among the Indian pacers.


Dinesh Karthik's revelations about the pitch conditions at The Oval have added a layer of complexity to India's team selection for the WTC final. The green tinge on the wicket indicates a challenging scenario for India's spinners and opening batsmen. Captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid face the tough task of weighing the pros and cons of fielding Ashwin as the lone spinner, taking into account his exceptional overseas record and Australia's left-handed batting lineup.

The composition of the playing XI will require careful consideration, balancing both the bowling and batting strengths of the team. As cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the clash, the decisions made by the Indian team management will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the outcome of this highly anticipated match.

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