Why are Indian and Australian players wearing black arm bands for WTC 2023 final?
Teams India and Australia, as well as the match officials, are wearing black armbands in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Oval in London, starting Wednesday, June 7.
The special gesture is being made to express solidarity with the families of the victims of the tragic train accident in Odisha on June 2. The two teams also observed a moment of silence in memory of those who lost their lives during the Odisha train tragedy.
For the uninitiated, the train accident claimed the lives of 278 people and left nearly 1100 injured. The triple train accident involved Coromandel Express, Bengaluru-Howrah Superfast Express, and the goods train at Bahanga Bazar station in Balasore.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the root cause of the accident was a change in "electronic interlocking". The case has been handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Team India opt to bowl against Australia in the WTC final
India captain Rohit Sharma, who is playing his 50th Test, opted to bowl first after winning the toss in the WTC final on Wednesday. They included Shardul Thakur in place of ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, while Ajinkya Rahane made his Test comeback after nearly 18 months.
Speaking at the toss, Rohit Sharma said:
"We are going to bowl. The conditions and also the weather being overcast. The pitch won't change too much. Four seamers and one spinner. The spinner is Jadeja. It's always tough (to leave Ashwin), he's been a match-winner. But you got to do the things that's needed for the team and eventually, we came up with that decision.”
“He (Rahane) brings a lot of experience, he's played 80-odd Tests. He's been out for a while, but I don't think the experience that he has can change all of that."
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Srikar Bharat (w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (w), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.
Follow WTC final live score updates here.