ICC World Test Championship final 2023: Australia and India set for showdown at The Oval

Rohit Sharma, captain of India poses with Pat Cummins, captain of Australia and the ICC World Test Championship mace prior to the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 at Battersea Power Station on June 05, 2023 in Battersea, England.
The winners of the World Test Championship final will receive £1.29m in prize money and the losers £644,000
World Test Championship final: Australia v India
Venue: The Oval Date: 7-11 June (reserve day on 12 June) Time: 10:30 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on Test Match Special through BBC Sounds and Radio 5 Sports Extra, live text commentary with in-play clips on the BBC Sport website

“It’s the pinnacle of Test cricket.”

Given the history of the two, perhaps it is little surprise that David Warner was referring to The Ashes rather than the World Test Championship final.

The latter may be in its infancy but for both Australia and India, the prospect of being crowned world Test champions is one to savour.

For Australia, the final is the first of six Tests in eight weeks in what could be a defining period for Pat Cummins’ side – a challenge he is embracing despite the tight schedule.

“It’s a World Cup final so we wouldn’t change too much about it,” the Australia captain told BBC Sport.

“We’ve been playing brilliant cricket the last two years but it seems like every Ashes tour you start afresh and get judged on that.

“We’re pumped and feel in as good a position as we can be so we’ll give it a good crack.”

Meanwhile, after they were beaten by New Zealand in the inaugural final in 2021, India are back and victory at The Oval would end a 10-year wait for an ICC trophy for the powerhouse of world cricket.

“The players know when India won and when they didn’t,” said India skipper Rohit Sharma.

“I don’t think it is right to think about it again and again. You have to focus on the situation and how we can do better.

“Our team’s focus is on how we will win this match.”line

Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Ravichandran Ashwin, KS Bharat, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadakt, Umesh Yadav.

Conditions ‘favour Australia’ and India’s spin dilemma

Australia qualified for the final after topping the nine-team points table, just ahead of India in second.

Cummins’ side won 11 of their 19 Tests in the two-year qualifying window but their one series defeat came at the hands of India earlier this year.

Although India have won the last four series between the sides, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting believes his countrymen do have a certain advantage in the final.

“The conditions should suit Australia more because the English conditions are more like Australia than they are like India,” Ponting said.

The Aussies will be without fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, though. The 32-year-old is recovering from a side injury and will not be risked ahead of the first Ashes Test on 16 June.

Michael Neser has been added to the squad as his replacement, joining a fearsome pace attack also featuring Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland.

With the bat, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, http://ceretemas.com/ ranked one and three respectively in the Test rankings, headline a top five all averaging over 45.

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