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Wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik predicts India's bowling line-up for World Test Championship final Dinesh Karthik
Image Credit: Twitter/Dinesh Karthik

Wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik predicts India's bowling line-up for World Test Championship final

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 29 May 2023, 05:48 pm

Mumbai: India wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik has used the latest episode of The ICC Review to reveal which bowlers he believes should get the nod and represent his side in next month's ICC World Test Championship final against Australia.

The ongoing absence of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and the likelihood of a seam-friendly pitch at The Oval means there is plenty of conjecture surrounding India's bowling line-up for the one-off Test against the Aussies that commences on June 7.

Experienced duo Mohammed Siraj and Mohammad Shami appear certain starters to lead India's pace assault, but just who partners the key pair and how many spinners make the final cut remains up for grabs as the start of the eagerly-awaited clash closes in.

Pace trio Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur were named in the original 15-player squad and are all in the mix to play according to Karthik, while uncapped quick Mukesh Kumar is on the standby list and could still feature should selectors choose a more left-field option.

Karthik said much will depend on the fitness of the bowlers as they arrive in England at the start of next month, but thinks Thakur and Unadkat may prove the best options to trouble the Australia batters given they offer a bit more variety to the side, the ICC reported.

"Jasprit Bumrah is a huge miss for any team and in any format as he's a force to reckon with… but a couple of key bowlers are in great form in Mohammed Siraj and Mohammad Shami who have bowled really well throughout the IPL,” Karthik noted.
"It's only a question of how much their bodies will be ready to play the rigours of five-day cricket. That is going to be the big question," he said.

"They have Shardul Thakur in the squad, who I'm pretty sure has a great chance of playing, while the fourth (seaming) option again will be between Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat," Karthik said.

“As we sit here again, there are a couple of injury issues, a little bit of cloud over their participation, so it's going to be interesting to see which way they go," he said.

“But you do get the feeling they could go to the left-arm medium pacer because they would want a variety in their attack,” Karthik said.

India successfully utilised three spinners in their XI during the recent Border-Gavaskar Test series on the sub-continent - with veteran Ravichandran Ashwin (25 wickets), star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (22) and emerging left-armer Axar Patel (three) combining to take 50 wickets and guide the side to a dominant 2-1 series triumph at home.

Karthik believes the decision to include both Ashwin and Jadeja in India's XI for the 2021 World Test Championship final against New Zealand was an error and has urged selectors not to make the same mistake twice and play just one specialist spinner for the south London clash.

"I think it will be a very brave call to even play two (spinners) - Ashwin and Jadeja together," Karthik noted.

"It might come down to a stage where, are they going to look at just the one spin option and an extra fast-bowling all-round option in Shardul Thakur or are they going to go with two spinners? he questioned.

"It will be an answer which will be easier said closer to the day of the match because the conditions will dictate whether they're going to go in with two spinners," Karthik said.

"I remember very vividly the last time they did feel that they had made an error by playing both the spinners in the Southampton Test match (2021 World Test Championship final) which didn't probably aid spin much and both of them were under bowled," he said.

"It will be very interesting to see if India go down that route where they play both the spinners. The last time they played in England, they went for the fast-bowling all-rounder and just the one spinner, so they very much could go in with the same attack," Karthik added.

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