The two captains posing with the WTC final mace (P.C.:ICC)

3 player battles to watch out for in WTC final

The 2023 World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia at The Oval is just a few hours away and an absolutely riveting encounter is set to take place. The two teams have been simply incredible over the past few years and have earned the right to be in the WTC final.

The final being a one-off Test makes it even more crucial for the teams to start well and win crucial moments. To ensure that they are winning those moments, winning match-ups is going to be extremely important.


Neither of the teams would want to give away the advantage to the other by losing those crunch moments in the game. On that note, let's take a look at the three massive match-ups that could decide who could win the WTC final.

#3 Steve Smith vs Ravindra Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja gets his man Steve Smith

📸: Disney+Hotstar

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It would be an understatement that Steve Smith is arguably India's biggest threat among the Australian batters. The former Australian captain just loves batting in English conditions and his unorthodox technique could make it quite difficult for the pacers to set him up for a dismissal.


However, the one area where Smith has shown shades of vulnerability is against spin and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja could be India's go-to bowler against the star batter. Jadeja has dismissed Smith seven times in Test cricket. The way Steve Smith was dismissed in the Ahmedabad Test earlier this year shows that Jadeja can trouble him even on pitches that don't offer much turn.

#2 Rohit Sharma vs Mitchell Starc

Batting in England can be challenging, but Rohit Sharma believes that patience and concentration can lead to big runs. 🏏

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Rohit Sharma's success as a Test opener is highlighted by his performances in England during the 2021 Test series. He scored 368 runs in those four Tests, including a sensational hundred at The Oval. Returning to the ground where he got his maiden overseas Test hundred will certainly give Rohit a feel-good factor.

Moreover, India will need their captain to blunt the Australian pace attack in what could be testing conditions in the WTC final. The one positive match-up for Rohit is the one against Mitchell Starc. Rohit Sharma has scored 95 runs against Starc and is yet to be dismissed in Tests. Starc would certainly want to set the record straight and that makes this an intriguing encounter.

#1 Virat Kohli vs Pat Cummins

Tom Moody feels that if Pat Cummins is in top form, he could pose a significant challenge for Virat Kohli in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

The battle between these two will be one to watch!

#WTCFinal2023 #PatCummins #ViratKohli #Cricket

An average of more than 48 in 24 Tests with eight centuries shows that Virat Kohli absolutely loves playing against Australia. While he has had incredible success against the Aussies, skipper Pat Cummins has often got the better of the former Indian captain.

In 247 balls faced in Tests off Cummins, Kohli has scored just 82 runs and has been dismissed five times. His vulnerability in the channel just outside off-stump is something Cummins will be keen to exploit. However, Kohli has often risen to challenges and it will be interesting to see how he deals with Cummins' threat in the WTC final.

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Edited by
Yash Singh
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