The Khel Times

Virat Kohli: The Men in Blue will return to international cricket after a break of nearly three months and kickstart the 2023-24 season with the high-profile ICC World Test Championship (WTC) against Australia from June 7 to 11

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli

The Men in Blue will return to international cricket after a break of nearly three months and kickstart the 2023-24 season with the high-profile ICC World Test Championship (WTC) against Australia from June 7 to 11. It is noteworthy that Team India hasn’t won an ICC trophy since ten years and will be keen to end its medal jinx.

The final of the prestigious Test Championship will be held at the Oval. As it turns out, Rohit Sharma will lead a star-studded squad, including the likes of Virat Kohli Ajinkya Rahane and many others. This is the second edition of the WTC, which was introduced in 2019 to add context to the longest format of the game. New Zealand were the champions of the inaugural edition, beating India by eight wickets in the final in Southampton. The winners of the WTC Final will take home a purse of $ 1.6 million while the losers will get $ 800,000. 

Most Indian players, except for the ones who featured in the final of IPL 2023, are already in England at the moment ramping up preparations for the one-off match against the Pat Cummins-led side, which finished at the top of the WTC 2021–23 cycle. Talisman batsman Kohli along with R Ashwin reached England last week, followed by skipper Rohit with the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was included as a stand-by player in place of Ruturaj Gaikwad, after having scored 625 runs in 14 matches in a breakthrough IPL tournament and ended as the fifth highest run-scorer of the season. 

The left-hander scored a blistering 62-ball 124 against Mumbai Indians and became the fourth youngest player to score a century in the cash-rich league. He also equalled the record for the highest individual score by a Rajasthan Royals batter in the tournament. He also struck the fastest fifty in the history of the tournament when he brought up his fifty off just 13 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.

On Wednesday, ICC shared a video of Jaiswal’s first training session with the senior team as he faced the likes of Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin in the nets. Ashwin and Kohli were seen sharing some tips with the youngster on his batting style. Watch the video here.

With sensational Shubman Gill and captain Rohit Sharma set to open for India, the 23-year-old’s chances of making his Test debut for the country are narrow. However, he has plenty of exposure and experience to gain during this tour practicing alongside senior Indian cricketers.

By Dhruv Pal

A student of Parul University, who loves to follow Cricket, Table Tennis, and Kabaddi.