India likely to stick to XI named before rain: Fielding coach.. Image Source: IANS News

Southampton, June 18 : India are looking to stick to the playing XI they announced on Thursday for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand at Hampshire Bowl even though they have an option to change it before the toss takes place.

The first day's play was washed out and the toss will take place on the second day if rain stops and the ground conditions are fit for play to start.

"I think the XI which has been announced is the XI that takes the pitch and conditions out of the equation. I think it is an XI which can play and perform on any given surface and in any given weather conditions. So that is what I believe: this XI is all about which we have put on the park," India's fielding coach R. Sridhar told media before.

Sridhar, however, adding that India are keeping the option open. "But having said the toss is not yet over, so if there needs to be a decision taken, it needs to be taken at the time of the toss," he added.

New Zealand, on the other hand, haven't named their starting line-up since they want to see the pitch first.

"We haven't confirmed the final eleven yet. Again, we have to wait and see when we get the chance to have a look at the wicket etc. Yeah, sure Kane [Williamson, the captain] and [head coach Gary] Steady have a few contingencies in plan but we will have to wait and see when the covers come off and we get a chance to play," vice-captain Tom Latham told the media.

The WTC final will extend into the reserve day on June 23. As of now, after the first day's washout, at least four hours of the reserve day will be used.

As many as 98 overs are to be bowled on the second if a full day's play tales place.

A team can be changed until its nomination at the toss. And since the toss for the WTC final is yet to take place, India can tweak their starting XI if they change their strategy following the rains.

It will be interesting to see if India rest one of the two spinners -- R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja -- and bring in a pace bowler, taking into regard the windy and wet conditions at Hampshire Bowl.

At the time of the toss, both teams exchange team sheets and after that no player can be changed unless there has to be substitution for either concussion or Covid-19.

Rule 1.2.1 of the playing conditions of WTC final states, "Each captain shall nominate 11 players plus a maximum of 4 substitute fielders in writing on the team sheet provided by ICC. Other than as set out in clauses 1.2.7 and 1.2.8, no player (member of the playing eleven) may be changed after the nomination without the consent of the opposing captain. Immediately prior to the toss, the ICC Match Referee or his nominee shall check with both team captains that the players nominated on the team sheets are correct."

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