The IPL 2023 has ended on a high note and the focus now shifts to the much-anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) Final. India will meet Australia at The Oval from June 7 for the clash. This is the second time India have qualified for the WTC Final and have a golden opportunity to end their trophy drought at a multiple-team ICC event. The biggest challenge for India will be to quickly adapt to the English conditions after being engaged in the two-month-long Indian Premier League at home.
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Cheteshwar Pujara spent the summers in England playing County cricket. Other members of the 16-member squad and the standby players were engaged in the IPL. The positive news for the team is most of them are in good form, and they will hope to carry forward the momentum in England.
Ajinkya Rahane is also back in the Test squad, who has been recalled to the squad after a long wait of 15 months. He recently won the IPL 2023 title with Chennai Super Kings.
Sunil Gavaskar opened up about Rahane ahead of the WTC Final
Former Indian Batsman Sunil Gavaskar considers him to be a crucial member of India’s batting line-up. He also expects a good show from the right-handed batter, stating “he has a point to prove after being dropped from the team.”
“He’s got a lot of experience having played in England, having scored runs in England. So, yes, I think he is going to be crucial down at number 5. And yes, I do believe he has a point to prove, I still feel he has got plenty of cricket left in him, and this is a wonderful opportunity for him. I’m hoping he will be able to grab this opportunity with all the experience that he has and make a place for him back in the Indian team,” said Gavaskar on Star Sports show Follow the Blues.
Rahane had a brilliant 2022-23 Ranji Trophy season, where he accumulated 634 runs from 11 innings at a healthy average of 57.63. He also had a terrific season in IPL 2023, finishing as the fourth-highest run-scorer from the CSK camp. Rahane scored 326 runs from 11 innings at a strike-rate of 172.48.