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WTC Final | Sunil Gavaskar wants India to drop one spinner, play extra batsman in rain-hit Southampton Test

The much-awaited summit clash was scheduled to start at 3 pm (IST) before rain played spoilsport on Friday to hinder the start at the Ageas Bowl. Even the toss, scheduled at 2:30 pm (IST) had to be delayed due to poor weather conditions.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: June 18, 2021 17:53 IST
India skipper Virat Kohli
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

India skipper Virat Kohli

Following a rain-marred first session of the World Test Championship (WTC) final in Southampton, legendary Sunil Gavaskar reckons India might think to tweak their set-up keeping in mind the overcast conditions. The former India skipper weighed in favour of a batsman in the squad.

The rain washed out the first session of the title clash between India and New Zealand, and with dark still hovering over the sky in Southampton, there's a possibility of seeing multiple interruptions during the course of the five-day Test. The ICC has also kept a reserve day to make up for time lost because of inclement weather.

The much-awaited summit clash was scheduled to start at 3 pm (IST) before rain played spoilsport on Friday to hinder the start at the Ageas Bowl. Even the toss, scheduled at 2:30 pm (IST) had to be delayed due to poor weather conditions. 

India may have announced their Playing XI on the eve of the WTC Final, but Gavaskar thinks they might think of accommodating a batsman before the team sheets are exchanged during the coin toss.

"See, they might have announced the team yesterday, [but] nothing is finalized until the captains share the sheets with each other during the toss. So, you can change the team till the very last moment. 

"As a captain, when I used to be confused between playing a spinner or an extra batsman, I used to see the opposition's eleven and scratch and change the team on my paper just before the toss," Gavaskar told Aaj Tak. 

"So, the eleven can be changed anytime before the toss. So I feel like maybe they'll think of playing another batsman because of the weather. Because these conditions are suitable for New Zealand fast bowlers so Rishabh Pant is at six, he might shift to seven and an extra batsman might play. Seeing this weather, one spinner might be dropped."

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

New Zealand squad: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Will Young, BJ Watling, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult, Matt Henry

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