Match: Australia vs India, (AUS vs IND, WTC Final)
Date: June 7-11, 2023 – 3:00 PM IST
Venue: Kennington Oval, London
Australia and India are all set to collide in the WTC Final 2023 at Kennington Oval in London from Wednesday, June 7th. The two best sides from the second cycle of the World Test Championship will be hoping to get their hands on an ICC trophy when they clash at a neutral venue.
The Aussies grabbed the top spot on the table for 2021-23 WTC cycle with 152 points, winning 66.67% of the points. They won 11 Tests in this period and lost only three while five ended in draws. India secured the second finalist spot with 127 points, winning 58.80% of the points. They won 10 out of 18 games while losing five.
Both these teams last played in the longer format when they faced each other in a four-match Border Gavaskar Trophy in India. The hosts needed to win the series to book their spot in the final and they did just that. The Rohit Sharma-led side came out on top by 2-1 in what was an enthralling series.
India hammered the Aussies in that series opener by an innings and 132 runs on the back of Ravindra Jadeja’s 70 runs and seven wickets. The all-rounder produced yet another outstanding performance on a helpful pitch, picking 10 wickets as India won the match by six wickets.
Australia bounced back strong in the third Test at Indore, winning by nine wickets. Nathan Lyon was the chief architect with 11 wickets in the match. The fourth Test was a high-scoring one and ended in a draw after Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill scored centuries.
The Oval in London has generally maintained a good balance between bat and ball. The pitches are usually pretty good for batting on the first three days. The average first and second innings score at the venue stands at 343 and 304, respectively. The team batting first has won 38 Tests while the team batting second has claimed 29 games.
The weather forecast suggests all five days of the Test are likely to be mostly sunny with no threat of rain. The temperature should hover around 20 degrees on matchdays.
Australia will be without Josh Hazlewood for this Test as he continues to recover from an injury. Scott Boland should form the pace attack alongside Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cam Green. David Warner will return at the top of the order, with Travis Head moving to number five.
Probable XI – Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland
India have a few personnel changes to their side due to injuries. Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul are unavailable. Shubman Gill is likely to open alongside Rohit Sharma, with Ajinkya Rahane slotting in at no. 5. Seamers Jaydev Unadkat, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur are vying for one spot.
Probable XI – Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat/Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Total Encounters – 106
India won – 32
Australia won – 44
Tie – 1
Draw – 29
India lead the last five encounters by 3-1.
Virat Kohli: Batter, India
The Indian maestro has been in incredible form across three formats this year. He recently struck back to back centuries in the Indian T20 League. Virat Kohli has a stellar record in Test cricket with over 8400 runs at an average of 49. He has 28 Test hundreds, including 186 in the last game. Kohli is a top C/VC option here.
Marcus Labuschagne: Batter, Australia
Marcus Labuschagne has a superb record in the longer format. He has 3394 runs from 37 Tests at an average of 57, with 10 centuries. He recently scored 502 runs in the County championship at an average of 72 with two big hundreds. He is a top captaincy candidate in this game.
Pat Cummins: Bowler, Australia
Pat Cummins is amongst the best bowlers in the world and the conditions in England will suit him. He has 217 wickets in the longer format at an average of 21.50. He has claimed five or more wickets in an innings on eight occasions. He can be a good C/VC option for this game.
Top Differential Picks
Rohit Sharma: Batter, India
Rohit Sharma has been one of India’s best performing batters in Test cricket in the last few years. He has scored 1794 runs as an opener at 53 average with six hundreds. He’s picked by only 26% of the MPL teams and can be a good differential.
Scott Boland: Bowler, Australia
Scott Boland had a great start to his Test career, picking 28 wickets from seven matches at an average of 13.42. Boland should enjoy bowling in English conditions. He’s selected by less than 5% of the MPL teams and offers great differential value.
MPL Fantasy XI
For those in India, you can watch the WTC Final match between Australia and India on Star Sports Network on television. For online streaming, you can head over to the Disney+ Hotstar application.
Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams.