Virat Kohli will be among the first batch of India players to leave for the WTC final in London, departing early morning on Tuesday
Virat Kohli (Pic: AFP)
The World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia is set to take place from June 7-11 at Oval. Virat Kohli will be among the first batch of India players to leave for the WTC final in London, departing early morning on Tuesday.
Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Mohammad Siraj will also board the same flight, a day after their team was knocked out of the IPL. Spinners R Ashwin and Axar Patel, and all-rounder Shardul Thakur, will also be on the flight as well as the team's support staff led by Rahul Dravid.
The two other players who complete the first list of seven cricketers are Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat, who is recovering from a shoulder injury.
"There will be two or three departures in total. The first batch leaves at 4.30 am tomorrow," said a BCCI source.
The players who will stay back in India for the IPL playoffs include skipper Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Mohammad Shami, K S Bharat and Ajinkya Rahane. Gujarat Titans, Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians are the four teams who have qualified for the playoffs. Qualifier 1 and 2, Eliminator and Final are set to take place between 23rd and 28th May, post which the rest of the selected WTC players will depart for the final.
Cheteshwar Pujara is already playing county cricket in England.
While the majority of the Indian team players are going into the title clash after two months of IPL, only three WTC-bound Australians played in the richest T20 league.
Last week, the great Ricky Ponting said the Aussies will be mentally better prepared for the final but the Indians will have valuable game time behind them.
"There are two ways to look at this. For someone like Virat, is he better off playing now and scoring runs at a consistent basis and have confidence going into a game rather than the Australians back home who haven't been playing much cricket but will be mentally better prepared," Ponting had said.
India, who finished runners-up in 2021, will be aiming to win their first ICC trophy in 10 years.
(With PTI inputs)