India cricket team batter Ajinkya Rahane made a return to the Test fold after the BCCI announced a 15-man squad for the World Test Championship 2023 (WTC) final against Australia in June.
Rahane, who made his red-ball debut in 2013, wasn’t a part of India’s Test squad since January 2022. His last Test was against South Africa in Cape Town last year and saw him make 9 and 1 across the two innings.
Overall, he managed just 136 runs across six innings during the three-match Test series against South Africa, and his lean run of form resulted in him being dropped from the India squad.
However, a combination of injuries to key players as well as a great run of form in the ongoing 2023 Indian T20 League campaign resulted in his comeback to India’s Test fold.
Furthermore, Rahane also topped the run-scoring charts for Mumbai during their 2022-23 campaign having amassed 634 runs at an average of 57.63, including two centuries.
Rahane was the only surprise in India’s squad selection with Rohit Sharma set to lead the team. Besides Rahane and Rohit, the other four specialist batters who are a part of the squad are Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, and Shubman Gill.
The likes of Shreyas Iyer and pace ace Jasprit Bumrah miss out due to back injuries that have kept them on the treatment table. Rishabh Pant, who was involved in a serious last December, is another notable absentee with KS Bharat roped in as his replacement for the WTC final.
The WTC final is slated to be held between June 7 and 11 at the Oval with a reserve day on June 12 also in hand.
India qualified for the final following a 2-1 Test series win at home earlier this year and they will be eager to go one step further after falling short in the last WTC final against New Zealand.
India squad for WTC 2023 final
India squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat
Photo credit: Alamy