Sat, 19 Jun 2021

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 11 (ANI): Former India wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel lavished praise on the recently picked squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, slated to be played in June.

The BCCI has named a 20-member squad (two subject to fitness clearance) which will also have standby players for the WTC final and the five-match Test series against England that follows.

Parthiv, who represented India in 25 Tests, 38 ODIs, and two T20Is, feels Team India has covered all the bases for the UK tour.

"I think it looks a really strong squad. If you want to compare India and New Zealand squad, I think we have covered all the bases. You talk about fast bowlers, we've got Bumrah, Ishan, Shami and if either of them is not fit then there's Mohammad Siraj and Umesh Yadav," said Parthiv on Star Sports' show Cricket Connected"There's enough depth in the squad. If we talk about batsmen -- Rohit Sharma, Shubhman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant -- there's a proper band of proper batsmen who can bat well in England," he added.

Further elaborating, Parthiv, who powered Gujarat to their maiden Ranji Trophy title, cited the example of KL Rahul who isn't the first choice opener in Tests, and despite that, the squad looks well balanced to take on New Zealand in the WTC final.

"Everyone scored runs, and there is a spare batsman in KL Rahul. Imagine KL Rahul not finding a space in the Test squad, so how strong this squad could be. Then there is Axar Patel, who was probably been the Man of the Match in a lot of matches against England," said Parthiv.

"He came in place of Ravindra Jadeja and never felt like Ravindra Jadeja was out. Now Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin will be back, so I think this squad looks really strong," he added.

The WTC final gets underway on June 18 and will continue till June 22 with June 23 kept as a reserve day. While it was initially set to be played at the Lord's, the ICC decided to move it to Southampton with an eye on the COVID-19 situation across the globe.

Team India's preparation will start on May 25 when they enter the bio-bubble created for them here in India itself. The 8-day bubble will be followed by another 10-day quarantine in the UK before the boys take on the Kiwis in Southampton. (ANI)

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