The final of the World Test Championship will take place between Australia and India at the Oval on Wednesday. The match comes at a time when there are growing concerns over the future of the lengthy format due to the rise of Twenty20 franchise leagues.
There is nothing surprising about the fact that cricket fans are concerned about the future of their favorite sport.
There is a current worry that the riches on offer to leading players from T20 tournaments such as the Indian Premier League, and the significantly shorter time it takes to earn the money compared to the amount of time it takes to earn the money by playing five-day Test cricket, makes the traditional format of the game much less appealing to leading modern-day players. One example of this is the Indian Premier League.
In order to provide additional context for test cricket, the International Cricket Council came up with the World Test Championship, which consists of a cycle of games that spans two years and culminates in a final.
After New Zealand’s victory against India in the first 2021 final, which took place at Southampton, the match that is taking place this week represents the finale of the second edition.
The ‘Big Three’ consisting of Australia, India, and England compete in the majority of five-match Test series. Australia and India are two of the key on-field and off-field forces in cricket.
Due to the fact that the first Ashes Test will begin at Edgbaston on June 16, the WTC final has been referred to as a “warm-up” game for Australia.
But the star batter for Australia, Steve Smith, whose team just missed out on making the first final after losing their previous home series to India, is convinced that his team wants to win this match just as badly as they want to win a World Cup final in either the 50-over or T20 format.
During a press conference on Monday at the Oval, Smith told reporters, “We’re all just looking forward to this (match against India).”
And the head coach of India’s cricket team, Rahul Dravid, commented that “it’s something you aspire to, to be in the top two teams so you get an opportunity to play this game.”
Rohit Sharma, the captain of India’s cricket team, observed that the Oval pitch and the overhead circumstances appeared to be favorable for seam bowlers. Early season surfaces in England do not often provide much assistance to spinners, and Sharma also noted that early season conditions in England do not favor spinners.
“When we played the last Test match here at the Oval, it looked very similar to this,” Rohit said during a pre-match news conference held at the Oval on Tuesday. “Then as the game went on, it got better and better and slower and slower, then the reverse-swing came into play on the fifth day,” Rohit said.
“We are going to take into consideration all of those factors.”
On the other hand, Rohit did not comment when asked about whether or not the famous spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will play in the final.
Ashwin was not included in India’s lineup for the Test match that was played at the London pitch in 2021, despite the fact that the top off-spinner had an outstanding record of 474 wickets at an average of 23.93 over 92 matches. Ravindra Jadeja, an all-rounder who spins the ball, was the player they decided to go with instead.
Both bowlers were selected to be part of India’s 15-man squad that will compete in the WTC final.
When asked about the combination, Rohit responded with a smile by saying, “In terms of the combination, better we wait until tomorrow (Wednesday) — I think that’s a common answer.”