Former India head coach Ravi Shastri chose his combined XI from India and Australia ahead of the ICC World Trials Championship Final between the two cricket giants at the Oval, England, June 7-11.
Rohit Sharma will captain Ravi Shastri’s chosen combined team and will also open the innings alongside Australian Usman Khawaja. The cricketer turned commentator found it difficult to pick the starting pair with Shubman Gill also in the ranks. Speaking at ICC Review, he said:
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“It’s very tight between Usman Khawaja and Shubman Gill. Shubman is the young star on the rise and he’s a great player, but Usman Khawaja, just from his current form and the number of runs he’s made in the last two years, I think he’s there.”
Marnus Labuschagne was slotted at No.3 by Ravi Shastri while Virat Kohli will bat at No.4. According to him, Steve Smith is the best bet to hit at No.5. He chose the trio because of the things they’ve done lately.
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“Number three is obvious as Marnus (Labuschagne) has been outstanding in Test cricket. He’s averaging close to 60, so he gets in there right away. Kohli to all four for what he’s done over the years and Smith to all five for what he’s done over the years and the kind of quality they bring.”
Ravi Shastri then went on to pick Ravindra Jadeja over Cameron Green for what the Indian all-rounder brings to the table. He also tied Nathan Lyon over Ravichandran Ashwin in his team due to the former’s overseas record.
“In number 6, I enter Jadeja, because I think he is one of the best SUVs in the world. “The reason I chose Nathan Lyon over Ashwin is because of Nathan’s track record abroad. Not just in Australia, but outside of Australia and (Lyon are) probably stronger to bowl those overs in England if needed. So he comes in with Jadeja as the second spinner, with Jadeja more as the all-rounder, and Lyon as the spinner.”
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Ravi Shastri then put together a formidable pace attack. He cast Pat Cummins, Mohammed Shami and Mithcell Starc as the three pacers on the side. Citing the reasons behind his choice, he said:
“(Pat) Cummins, of course, for me, he is a top class operator and Mohammed Shami, he is like classic and he is getting better and better as we see him in this IPL. And louder. So he goes in there. And then it was difficult between (Josh) Hazelwood, Starc and there’s also Cameron Green. I would stay with Starc (to complement them) because rhythm and variety are the left arm”.
Here is Ravi Shastri’s India-Australia XI Combined Test:
Rohit Sharma (c), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Ravindra Jadeja, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Mohammad Shami
Virat Kohli | rohit sharma | Rishabh trousers | Raul KL | Suryakumar Yadav | sanju samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah