Team India is gearing up to take on New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship. Virat Kohli & Co. have already reached Southampton and the players have started training in groups of 3-4 to get accustomed to the conditions ahead of the all-important summit clash which gets underway from June 18. Ahead of the final, India face some selection headache in the pace department.
With Mohammed Siraj's recent meteoric rise and the availability of the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma, the team management is deliberating who all should feature in the team's pace attack. As per a report in the Times of India, the team management is keen on including Siraj in the XI and is looking at a way to fit him in.
Ishant, Bumrah, and Shami have been exceptional as a trio and have played a major role in India's success in the longest format under Kohli. However, senior pacer Ishant could be asked to rest if Siraj manages to impress in training in the lead-up to the final. Siraj had a brilliant tour of Australia where he was the highest wicket-taker for India and has been looking in a great rhythm.
Ishant, who made his comeback from injury in the home series against England this year, had picked up six wickets in four games against Joe Root & Co. As per TOI, there are doubts over Ishant's ability to bowl long spells at high intensity and produce regular bouncers when required against the New Zealand batsmen in Southampton.
Siraj is a hit the deck bowler who can bowl good bouncers and do it consistently. The Hyderabad fast bowler will be auditioning for a spot in the final XI when the team starts training together later this week. Ishant can bowl at great intensity but bowling regular bouncers can be challenging for the 32-year-old, who is going to turn 33 soon.
India would like to head into the final with four pacers as the Southampton pitch is expected to offer assistance to seamers. With Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin likely to be picked together to add balance to the batting line-up, it remains to be seen if India will go with four pure fast bowlers or include three pacers, and play both Ashwin and Jadeja.