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WTC Final: Why India and Australia players are wearing black armbands?

India have won the toss and opted to bowl first even as Ravi Ashwin misses out. India have gone with four pacers and a lone spinner in Ravindra Jadeja

Aditya Kukalyekar Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar New Delhi Updated on: June 07, 2023 15:35 IST
WTC Final, IND vs AUS
Image Source : GETTY India and Australia players wearing black armbands

The World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia commenced at The Oval today. India have won the toss and opted to bowl first even as the Rohit Sharma-led side decided to leave out top off-spinner Ravi Ashwin. Meanwhile, players from both India and Australia teams spotted wearing black armbands.

They are doing so in memory of the victims of the Odisha train tragedy. The two teams also observed a moment of silence before the national anthems. The death toll in the Odisha Train accident has risen close to 300 and the gesture from both teams is noteworthy. Perhaps, even the umpires wore black armbands in the memory of the victims of the train tragedy.

Meanwhile, India scalped an early wicket of Usman Khawaja with Mohammed Siraj striking only in his second over. As far as the playing XIs are concerned, Rohit Sharma-led side left out Ravi Ashwin while including four seamers while going with only one spinner in Ravindra Jadeja. Australia, on the other hand, will miss Josh Hazlewood who is injured and Scott Boland has replaced him in the XI.

"We are going to bowl. Jjust the conditions and also the weather being overcast. I don't think the pitch will change too much. You have to play good cricket and come out on top. Four seamers and one spinner. The spinner is Jadeja. It's always tough (to leave Ashwin), he's been a match-winner for us over the course of so many years. But you got to do the things that's needed for the team and eventually we came up with that decision. He (Rahane) brings a lot of experience, he's played 80-odd Test matches and he's done well for the team. He's been out for a while but but I don't think the experience that he has can change all of that," Rohit Sharma said at the toss.

Playing XIs:

India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Srikar Bharat(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland

More to follow...

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