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3 key player battles that could help decide WTC Final

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Last Updated on 12 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: 3 key player battles that could help decide WTC Final | Key player battles to watch out for in WTC Final 2023

Jumping out of the thrilling Indian Premier League (IPL), it’s time for the highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final starting from June 7 at The Oval. This is India’s second straight appearance in the summit clash of the tournament, whereas Australia will be looking to emerge victorious in this game to bring curtains down on an impeccable recent run in Test cricket.

Both teams are stacked with superstars and CricBlog puts together three key player matchups that can have a key role in determining the eventual outcome of this match.

1. David Warner vs Mohammed Siraj

Many presume that the current tour to England might be David Warner’s final major assignment in red-ball cricket. The southpaw has struggled in whites lately and has aggregated only 36 runs in four innings that he has played in 2023. Experience counts big in summit clashes and hence the Pat Cummins-led side seems to be banking on him to deliver the goods once the time comes.

However, Warner will face a stern test from Mohammed Siraj, who has excelled in all formats this calendar year. He has been sharp from the offset, hitting the right lengths throughout and the tinge of swing that he is able to extract will hold him in good stead to draw the first blood of the Australian innings.

Siraj has dismissed Warner twice in 70 balls in Tests, conceding just 36 in the process.

2. Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins

Virat Kohli will be the glue that will hold the Indian batting order together at the crucial number four slot. His proficiency against pace and the moving ball will mean that the Indian team will rely on him to get a big score under his belt.

He will be wary of the Australian captain Pat Cummins though, who will be steaming in at full throttle to make inroads and secure breakthroughs in that Indian batting order. Kohli averages 16.4 at a strike rate of 33.4 against Cummins in Test cricket and has been dismissed five times by the Australian pace spearhead. Cummins is slightly different from his predecessors and lets the ball do all the talking. His bowling style will thrive at the conditions at the Oval and Kohli hence has to overcome a massive task in this game.

3. Steven Smith vs Ravindra Jadeja (& R Ashwin)

Steven Smith and Ravindra Jadeja have engaged in some intense battles since first locking horns in 2013 in Test cricket. Smith has at times been at a spot of bother against Jadeja’s left-arm spin. However, his skilfulness has been demonstrated by his ability to tackle the same efficiently and in a more refined manner every time to meet each other next.

Overall, Jadeja has dismissed Smith seven times in Tests, out of which three were in India’s recently-concluded 2-1 win against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year. The duo has never gone against each other in a neutral venue yet and hence Jadeja’s adaptation to the pitch at the Oval will be an interesting facet of this matchup. Regardless, this is one of the most instrumental player battles that could have a role in deciding the fate of the next WTC victor.

If Ashwin is picked for India, he could potentially trouble Smith. The offspinner has dismissed Smith eight times in Test cricket, with five coming since the start of the 2020 series at an average of 17.2.

Cricket News: 3 key player battles that could help decide WTC Final | Key player battles to watch out for in WTC Final 2023
Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jhahttps://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh
Tarkesh is a passionate cricket fan from India. He specialises in reporting on news from around the cricketing world as well as putting together opinion pieces. You can connect with Tarkesh on Twitter (X) at: https://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh

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