India and Australia are set to lock horns against each other in the final of World Test Championship at the Oval in London. India skipper Rohit Sharma has won the toss and opted to bowl first even as he confirmed the much debated playing XI of the team. The team has preferred KS Bharat in the XI ahead of Ishan Kishan with the latter's superior wicketkeeping skills.
Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur is set to bat at number eight and is the fourth pacer in the XI while Ravi Ashwin has missed out yet again in a Test match in England. Umesh Yadav will be the first-change bowler with Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami sharing the new ball.
Rohit Sharma conceded that it was always tough to leave Ravi Ashwin out but conditions demanded it. "The conditions and also the weather being overcast. The pitch won't change too much. Four seamers and one spinner. The spinner is Jadeja. It's always tough (to leave Ashwin), he's been a match-winner. He (Rahane) brings a lot of experience, he's played 80-odd Tests," he said.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins admitted that he would've bowled as well but hopes that the ball will turn on Day 4 and 5. "We would have bowled as well. Hopefully day four and five, there's a bit of spin. You think it suits his (Boland) bowling, he'll be a key weapon. We've been here for about 10 days. Pretty fresh, weather has been nice, we haven't missed a session, feeling good," he said.