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ICC World Test Championship Final, Day 1: India looks to pick early wickets against Australia

India and Australia are fighting for the title of the ICC World Test Championship at The Oval. The one-off test match is underway from June 07, 2023, and it is scheduled to conclude on June 11, 2023. India is ranked number one in the format, while the Aussies are down just by a single spot. In a situation where both teams land on a tie, they will take home the joint title of the tournament only to return for the sole spot again in the next edition.

Current conditions favor the scenario for a draw. India’s chances to win the match are diminishing, and that will continue to happen unless Rohit Sharma’s side is able to pick early wickets on day 2 of the match.

Indian Bowling Unit

Keeping Ashwin out is a puzzle that experts have been attempting to solve from the time the final squad was announced. One of the assumptions states that the decision had to be made to have a proper batter on the field which could also offer some bowling comfort. Ravindra Jadeja is high on his IPL performance, and there could not have been anyone else better than him. Axar Patel was on the waiting list as well, but considering the high stakes, Jadeja got an entry under Sharma’s captaincy.

Only three wickets have been picked on Day 1. This is not something that the Indian side can be proud of. Nonetheless, Siraj, Shami, and Shardul Thakur were phenomenal enough to send three Aussie batters back to the dugout. Umesh Yadav’s economy stands at 3.86 throughout 14 overs, out of which four saw not a single run being scored. The guy needs better backing. Consider Thakur to be an alternative only if Umesh gets tired. This is also because Shardul has been the most expensive bowler on Day 1.

Australian Batting Attack

Usman played ten balls but could not open a single run. Srikar Bharat caught the hit on Siraj’s throw in the 4th over. It looked like the batting lineup would collapse, especially after Warner and Marnus departed before the completion of 25 overs. Australia had only 76 runs on the register with worries complimentary, courtesy of the Indian bowling unit.

Steve Smith and Travis Head entered to change the game entirely. They displayed a combination of aggression and patience, with Head running at the strike rate of 93.59 against Steve’s 41.85, which was once down to 30. A 250-run partnership between the two is a threat to the Indian side. There is a potential of putting up a total of 450 and declaring the innings. However, the bowling lineup may choose to have a higher target and not let Aussie batters come out in the second innings.

Conditions At The Oval

The pitch at The Oval behaves well for batters and bowlers. Seamers and spinners can be seen having a laugh right from the beginning. Batters take time to settle but eventually venture out to set a much bigger target. Come to the third innings, and spinners lose the magic to the hands of seamers. Day 1 has made this evident, except for the fact that wickets came early instead of coming late.

India’s spin attack has been economical, with zero wickets. Seamers, on the other hand, have picked a single wicket each. A wicket is known to fall after every 54 balls or 30 runs. That has not happened since the Smith-Head partnership. Day 2 could demonstrate a different type of play, though. Some of the best online cricket betting sites are inclined to show that the event would be drawn. That sounds true, provided current batters stretch their innings till lunch.

The weather is cold in the morning and hot after that. As the match progresses, the spin will roll out fewer runs, and pacers will have to struggle to control the batters.

Tactical Decisions

Rohit Sharma’s decision to bowl first has made way for the Indian side to either win the match or draw the outcome. The batting lineup is strong, and reliance on the same is pretty obvious. The thing is, the batting line–up of Pat Cummins’s side is strong, too, with a better bowling unit. Mitchell Starc is going to make the best use of the pitch in the innings to come.

India has drawn 7 out of 14 test matches they played at The Oval. ICC WTC Final could be the 8th addition to the list.


Day 1 has not exactly been in favor of India. Expectations were to either restrict the opponent to a lower total or pick 5 or more wickets. That has not happened till now. Day 2 begins soon. Early wickets were picked on the first day. India needs to replicate that on Day 2. Otherwise, the set batters will take the entire outcome to their backyard.

If the Aussies continue playing till the end of Day 2, then the Indian side can expect to have a night watchman on the field for 30-45 minutes. Smith and Head are going strong. Carrying forward the momentum is a possibility. All eyes are on Siraj and Shami as they lead the bowling attack for the side.

Maxine Klingensmith

Maxine holds a bachelor degree in journalism, and she has worked as a freelance writer with foremost publications. Recently, Maxine has joined our team as a news editor. As she is passionate for casino and gambling industry, she conventionally contributes the latest news and reviews for casinos.

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