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India name 15 for WTC final as Axar, Sundar excluded

Southampton: India named six batsmen, five pace bowlers and two spinners along with two wicketkeeper-batsmen in the 15-member squad for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, starting on Friday at the Hampshire Bowl here.

From the main squad that has travelled to England, Mayank Agarwal, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and KL Rahul have been left out. Of these players, Patel and Sundar had played in India’s previous Test, the fourth and final match against England in Motera, Ahmedabad, in March.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has forced teams to send extended squads as travel has become difficult due to the long and mandatory quarantine periods.

While the Indian Test squad will be busy with the WTC final (June 18-22) and a five-Test series in August-September, a limited-overs team will be playing an ODI and a T20I series in Sri Lanka from July 13 to 25.

The white ball series is an opportunity for players to stake claim in the squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in October-November and it will be interesting to find out how missing an opportunity to prove themselves will impact the chances of Sundar, Patel, Thakur and Rahul.

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