LONDON: New Zealand and India on Tuesday announced 15-man squads for the World Test Championship (WTC) final, with Black Caps captain Kane Williamson included after recovering from injury.

Williamson missed New Zealand’s triumph against England at Edgbaston, which sealed a 1-0 series win, with an elbow injury.

New Zealand include B.J. Watling for the final, which starts in Southampton on Friday, after the wicket-keeper recovered from a back injury.

“Kane and B.J. have certainly benefited from their week of rest and rehabilitation and we expect them to be fit and available for the final,” said New Zealand coach Gary Stead.

“Playing in a world cup final is a really special occasion and I know the guys are looking forward to getting into their work here in Southampton.

“India are a world-class outfit who possess match-winners all through their line-up, so we’re under no illusion about how tough they will be to beat.”

India’s trio of Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, and Hanuma Vihari have returned to the Test squad for the final after missing the England series earlier this year with injuries.

The debate around who will open the batting appears to be resolved as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are the only regular openers who have made the cut.

India have bolstered their fast-bowling options by including five seamers — Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Siraj.

Jadeja’s return means there is no place for Axar Patel, who made an impressive debut in the series against England, taking 27 wickets. Ravichandran Ashwin is the other spin-bowling option.

Squads:

NEW ZEALAND: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Will Young.

INDIA: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.

Published in Dawn, EOS, June 16th, 2021

Opinion

A fragmenting ummah
Updated 23 Jul 2021

A fragmenting ummah

Muslims are suffering in many parts of the world, all of which is known by other Muslims, but that nevertheless continues.
Virtual vultures
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Virtual vultures

Pegasus software has stirred a storm of indignation across the globe.
Shifting goalposts
Updated 20 Jul 2021

Shifting goalposts

Afghanistan is one place where proxy war by regional and bigger powers has always been a constant.

Editorial

India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.
New blow for Pak-Afghan ties
Updated 20 Jul 2021

New blow for Pak-Afghan ties

Islamabad police need to build a watertight case around their final conclusions because the stakes could not have been higher.
20 Jul 2021

FDI decline

THE worrisome, sharp decline in the more permanent, non-debt-creating foreign direct investment, or FDI, should be a...
20 Jul 2021

Another tragic accident

ALMOST every other week, if not every other day, newspapers report deadly road and rail accidents. It has been ...