India named spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in their playing XI for the final of the World Test Championship against New Zealand at Southampton.
The rest of the squad is along expected lines with Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah making up the pace attack.
Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma will be the openers while Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant make up the rest of the batting order.
India had already made some tough choices when they named their 15-man squad for the final. Pacer Shardul Thakur and opener Mayank Agarwal were the notable names to not find a place among the fifteen.
Washington Sundar and England series hero Axar Patel, both spinners, also missed as Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were picked as the premier spinners in overseas conditions.
The exclusions from the playing XI and the squad indicate India’s bench strength.
India have not played a competitive game since the end of March and have had to make do with an intra-squad practice match while undergoing quarantine.
But the quality in the ranks on both sides shows how tough a decision it is for Kohli to pick a starting XI.
India won five out of the six series in the two-year WTC cycle to reach the final that included a famous victory in Australia. India were dominant on home patch as well as they won eight out of the nine Tests during this period.
India’s playing XI for WTC Final: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
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