The WTC Finals will be played on the Oval from June 7-11.
In the 140-year history of Test matches, this is the first time the iconic South London venue has hosted a Test match in June when the field is green and fresh.
The Test match at the Oval is always the last game of the series for the visiting side, either in late August or early September, when the pitch is dry and helps the slow bowlers.
This is one pitch in England that usually has two spinners playing on it. If the ball spins, there is a bounce for the spinners as well. In my opinion, the field would be flat. In those conditions, it would work for India if they played with two spinners. We have already seen Australia struggle with spinners, especially from India, Panesar, who has played 50 Tests for England, told PTI.
Playing with two spinners did not bring India success in the WTC final in Southampton two years ago, but Panezar believes the Rohit Sharma-led team will do better with the combination at the Oval.
The weather has been hot, and we see the ball spinning even in some T20 Blast matches in London. I also don’t think they will keep the grass because they want the match to last at least four days, added Panezar.
Speaking of the pace department, Panezar chose Umesh Yadav as the third pacer instead of Shardul Thakur. Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are automatically selected as eleven players.
It will also be interesting to see who the seamstresses will be, as they have many options here as well. In my opinion, India is the stronger side on all fronts. Since they will get extra options for batters with Ashwin and Jadeja, I would pick Umesh as the third pacer.
He is the man that Rohit can turn to and say: I want you to play five overs at 140+ and destroy the Australian batters. You’re going to need that extra tempo, the 41-year-old said.
He also expects reverse swing to play a huge role in the game.
On the Oval, the ball has a reverse swing, and we’ve seen how good Indian bowlers are when it comes to reverse swing. They can make the ball move harder than the Australian pacers.
India can lose this game. They have everything ahead of them, and they just need to perform according to their skills, believes England’s hero during the 2012 away series in India.
Pujara will be the kicker.him factor for India
Panezar made an interesting choice by selecting SuCaptain Six Chetswar Pujara, an X-factor player for India.
The right-hander has gotten tons of runs in county cricket over the past two seasons and was the only one who played red-hot cricket when others were busy in the IPL.
The Indian top order is in form. The conditions will be similar to Wankhede pitch – fast and resilient. My X-factor will be Pujara because he has performed so well in these English conditions in the Sussex team. He’s the guy that ties this batting lineup together, he reasoned.
What makes Pujara special is his patience and ability to grind out the Australian attack, something he did successfully for several consecutive series in 2018-19 and 2020-21.
He is good on defense and if the ball is driven a bit, he can negotiate with the Australian bowlers and when the pitch is flat, the rest can play attacking cricket, said Panesar, who also chose Ishan Kishan over K.S. Bharat as the wicketkeeper-batsman in the team.
You don’t need to be an outstanding wicketkeeper in England. He is good at holding the ball and batting. He should play ahead of Bharat. About the returner Ajinka Rahane he added: He scored a fantastic hundred at Lord’s and M.S. Dhoni rediscovered him. There aren’t many players who can play like him in the IPL. He has a great command of the ball.
Mitchell Starc is an X-factor for Australia
Panezar concluded by saying that India should be wary of Mitchell Starc in all phases of the game.
For Australia, Stark will be someone to watch. He will be fast, and he will have that late movement. He can change the game with one spell. He’s the one Australia will turn to when they need a wicket, he added.