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Cricket-India’s Rohit keeps cards close to chest for WTC final


(Reuters) – India will decide their lineup for the World Test Championship (WTC) final only once they have assessed the pitch at The Oval, captain Rohit Sharma said, as uncertainty remains over whether Ravichandran Ashwin will feature against Australia.

Ahead of the June 7-11 match, India are yet to make up their mind on whether to harness a second spinner, Ashwin, with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja also in the squad.

“I’m not saying that Ashwin is not going to play,” Rohit told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’ll wait until tomorrow because one thing I have seen here, the pitch actually changes quite a bit day to day.

“Today it’s looking this way, tomorrow it might be slightly different, who knows? So, the message to the boys has been very clear. All 15 must be ready to play at any point in time.”

India also reached the final of the inaugural WTC in 2021 when New Zealand beat Virat Kohli’s side in a rain-marred contest in Southampton.

Rohit has since replaced Kohli in the saddle, and the India captain said he had spoken with players about mistakes made in the previous final.

“It’s a good challenge to have and we know exactly what went wrong for us in the last Championship final, so hopefully we won’t repeat those kinds of things,” Rohit said.

India’s last ICC title win came a decade ago in the 2013 Champions Trophy, but Rohit said there was no point in dwelling on past disappointments.

“Everyone wants to take the team forward. Everyone wants to win the title. Every captain wants to win championships and I am no different. The next five days are going to be important for us. I want to focus on what is in our mind,” Rohit said.

“We as a team know what we have won and when was the last time we won. There is no point thinking about it and take pressure, we just want to focus on the game.”

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India; Editing by Toby Davis)

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