Suffering post-IPL blues? WTC Finals are here! Ultimate guide to thrilling India vs Australia showdown

Prepare for a thrilling showdown at the iconic The Oval in London, as the curtain rises on the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) finals for 2021-2023! From June 7 to 11, cricket enthusiasts across the world will witness India and Australia, two cricket giants, clash in a battle of dominance. This thrilling contest marks the second edition of the championship, commencing in 2019.

India and Australia proved their mettle, securing their places in the finals by soaring high in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Test Championship standings. Amidst pandemic delays and rescheduled series, the standings were crafted, considering win percentages.

In the previous 2021 championship, India’s dreams shattered in the finals, facing a crushing eight-wicket loss to New Zealand. Meanwhile, Australia aims to etch their mark in history, as this occasion marks their maiden appearance in the finals. Brace yourself for an unforgettable clash of cricketing powerhouses!

The story so far

These two cricketing giants have engaged in fierce Test battles in recent years, with India holding the upper hand and the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy firmly in their grasp since the 2016-17 season, triumphing both at home and away.

While India seeks to surpass their previous performance at The Oval, Australia aims to claim a victory against their formidable rivals on neutral grounds. Determined to break their streak of four consecutive Border-Gavaskar Trophy series losses (both home and away), the Aussies are ready to leave no stone unturned. The previous edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy concluded in India, with the hosts securing a 2-1 home series triumph. Brace yourself for a battle that will leave cricket fans on the edge of their seats.

India vs Australia WTC Full squads

Team India WTC Squad: 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)

Standby players: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Mukesh Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav

Team Australia WTC Squad: Pat Cummins (Captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (WK), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (WK), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Steven Smith (Vice-Captain), Mitchell Starc, David Warner

Standby players: Mitch Marsh, Matt Renshaw

India vs Australia WTC: When and where to watch the match?

IND vs AUS will commence at 2.30 pm (IST) every match day for the World Test Championship final. The final can be watched live on the Star Sports Network on Television and can be live streamed on Disney+Hotstar app and website.

India vs Australia WTC: Top developments

Ajinkiya Rahane returns: Ajinkya Rahane, the skilled middle-order batsman, has been called back into the Indian squad for the World Test Championship final against Australia at the Oval. Despite his last Test appearance being in January 2022, Rahane has showcased remarkable form in the ongoing Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament. 

Due to Shreyas Iyer’s absence caused by a back injury requiring surgery, India has turned to Rahane, who boasts an impressive Test average of 38.52 and has achieved 12 centuries during his career.

India’s bowling combination is still a mystery: With the highly anticipated clash at The Oval just around the corner, Australia’s team seems relatively settled. However, India’s lineup has become a subject of speculation, particularly when it comes to their bowlers.

During the recent Border-Gavaskar Trophy series, India relied on the prowess of their spin trio. Ashwin, with 25 wickets, and Jadeja, with 22, played crucial roles in the hosts’ triumphant 2-1 victory.

Yet, in the inaugural World Test Championship Final against New Zealand in 2021, both Jadeja and Ashwin failed to leave their customary impact. Now, the question looms whether the selectors will grant them another chance or opt for a pace-oriented lineup this time around. As the stage is set, the mysteries of India’s bowling configuration shall soon be unveiled.

Prize Money: The victorious team in the ICC World Test Championship 2023 Final will earn a staggering prize of $1.6 million, while the runners-up will secure $800,000. The tournament’s prize money remains unchanged from the inaugural edition (2019-21), with a total purse of $3.8 million.

In 2021, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand received a reward of $1.6 million in Southampton after their rain-affected, six-day WTC final resulted in an impressive eight-wicket triumph over India. The upcoming final will once again provide an opportunity for teams to vie for substantial financial rewards alongside cricketing glory.

David Warner retirement: In a surprising turn of events, Australian opener David Warner has announced his retirement from Test cricket just days before the World Test Championship Final against India at The Oval. Warner disclosed his decision recently, stating that he intends to bid farewell to the format at the conclusion of the upcoming Australian summer. Currently in London preparing for the WTC final against India, Warner’s focus will later shift to the Ashes series against England, which comprises five matches.

During a conversation with reporters in Beckenham, Warner expressed his desire to conclude his Test career following Australia’s match against Pakistan in January, which will take place at his home ground in Sydney. As a result, he will not be available for the two-match Test series against West Indies. However, Warner clarified that he plans to continue representing Australia in white-ball cricket until the 2024 T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in the West Indies and the USA.

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