An oval test match in the month of June does inspire fear of the unknown, but former England left-hander Monty Panesar would still like Indian team management to field Ravicandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadea in the upcoming World Testing Cup final against Australia. The WTC Final will take place at the Oval from June 7th to 11th. In 140 years of Test match history, this is the first time the iconic South London stadium has hosted a test match in the month of June when the pitch is green and fresh.
A test match at the Oval is always the last game of the series for the away side, whether it’s in late August or early September when the pitches are dry and helping the slow bowlers.
“In England, on the same field, you usually play with two spinners. If the ball turns, then the spinners also bounce. In my opinion, the gate will be flat. Under these conditions, India will do if they play with two spinners. “We have already seen how Australia is struggling with spinners, especially from India,” Panesar, who participated in 50 Tests for England, told PTI.
The double spinner game didn’t work out for India in the WTC final in Southampton two years ago, but Panesar thinks a team led by Rohit Sharma would do better with the combination at The Oval.
“The weather has been hot and we are seeing the ball turn even in some of the T20 Blast games in London. I also don’t see them keeping the grass because they would like the match to last at least four days,” Panesar added.
Speaking of the pace department, Panesar chose Umesh Yadav as the third pacer ahead of Shardul Thakur. Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are automatically selected from eleven players.
“It will also be interesting to see who rolls as they have a lot of options too. India, in my opinion, is the stronger side on all fronts. with Umesh as the third pacer.
“He’s the kind of guy Rohit can walk up to and say, ‘I want you to hit five overs at 140+ pounds and smash the Australian batters.’ You’ll need some extra pace,” the 41-year-old said.
He also expects the backswing to play a huge role in the game.
“The ball really flips in the Oval and we have seen how good Indian bowlers are when it comes to backswing. They can make the ball move more than Australian pacers.
“India must lose this game. They have everything they need and they just need to prove themselves according to their skills,” the England hero felt during the 2012 away series in India.
“Pujara will be the x factor for India”
Panesar made an interesting choice by selecting Sussex captain Cheteswar Pujara as the x-factor player for India.
The right-hander has received a ton of runs in county cricket over the last two seasons and has been the only one to have played red cricket when the others were occupied by the IPL.
“The Indian first-class player is in form. The conditions will be similar to the Wankhede field, fast and elastic. binds this line of batting together,” he reasoned.
What makes Pujara special is his patience and ability to fend off this Aussie attack, which he successfully pulled back to back in the 2018-19 and 2020-21 series.
“He’s good at his defense and if the ball has a little impact he can negotiate with the Australian bowlers and when the pitch is flat others can cash in on attacking cricket,” said Panesar, who also picked Ishan. Kishan over K.S. Bharat as a wicket-batter from the side.
“In England you don’t have to be an outstanding goalkeeper. He holds and rebounds well. He should play ahead of Bharat.” Of returning player Ajinkya Rahan, he added: “He hit a fantastic 100 at Lord’s and MS Dhoni reinvented him. Not many players can hit like he does in the IPL. He has great ball control.”
Mitchell Stark provides x-factor for Australia
Panesar concluded by saying that India should be wary of Mitchell Stark at all stages of the game.
“In Australia, Stark will be the one to watch out for. He’ll be fast and he’ll have this late move. He can change the game with a single spell. gate,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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