Ahead of the much-anticipated ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia, former England skipper Nasser Hussain has picked only one specialist spinner in his combined Test XI he would select from the two teams set to meet in the World Test Championship final. Prior to their match in the ICC World Test Championship final in London, Hussain could only find room for one spinner in a combined Test XI, despite the fact that spin was king when India and Australia clashed earlier this year.
As India successfully defended the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja combined for 47 wickets. Australia’s Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy, both spinners, also posed a threat with 36 each.
Lyon (81) and Ashwin (61) were also among the leading wicket-takers across the WTC cycle, but only one spinner from the two teams could earn a spot in the former England skipper’s combined Test XI.
“If the World Test Championship Final was in the subcontinent or India, I might go Jadeja at six. But I’m not, because it’s in England,” Hussain told The ICC Review.
“I’m going to go for a bowling all-rounder, seam-bowler in Cameron Green. That’s who I want as my all-rounder. My spin bowler would be Ravi Ashwin at eight. And he bats, obviously, very good at No.8,” Hussain added.
The five batters to come in ahead of Australia’s rising star Cameron Green in Hussain’s combined Test XI bring much more experience to the contest and have 91 Test centuries between them.
“Rohit Sharma, very easy, top of the order and captain for me. I love the way Rohit captains,” Hussain said. I’d like to have Shubman (Gill) in but I think it’s just a little bit early for him to break into my combined XI, so I’m going to go with Usman Khawaja to open the batting. Then into the very easy bit, three of the all-time world greats in (Marnus) Labuschagne, (Steve) Smith and (Virat) Kohli come in at three, four, five,” Hussain said.
With only one spinner in Hussain’s combined Test XI the cricketer said the luxury of choosing between a host of top-line pacers to fill the remaining spots.
“(Pat) Cummins at nine, easy choice. (Mitchell) Starc at 10 to give me that left-arm variation. Mohammed Shami, just so that we can have so many replays of his seam position going down. I would have obviously Jasprit in there if he wasn’t injured, but he is so I’m having Shami at 11,” Hussain said.
Nasser Hussain’s combined India-Australia Test XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Mohammad Shami.
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