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File image of India veteran Ajinkya Rahane© Twitter

Ajinkya Rahane’s return to the Indian Test squad was the biggest news to have come out of India’s World Test Championship final squad announcement on Tuesday. India will play its second WTC final against Australia at The Oval, London, from June 7 to 11. Rahane’s comeback after 15 months was on predictable lines following Shreyas Iyer’s back injury that ruled him out of the grand finale. Iyer recently underwent a surgery in the UK to treat stress fractures in his lower back. Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan also reckoned that Rahane’s past performances in overseas conditions will bode him well.

Speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Live, Irfan Pathan said: “Had Shreyas Iyer been fit then Rahane would not have got the place in the WTC Final side. But as far as the current form is concerned, he is looking in great touch. The format in which he is playing now is completely different but Rahane’s performance on foreign pitches has always been good and this has gone in his favour.”

Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh, however, opined that Suryakumar Yadav should have also been kept in the squad along with Rahane because SKY can accelerate his knock.

“I would have kept both Surya and Rahane in the team. I would have played Surya instead of Axar because you are not going to play with three spinners in English conditions. In such a situation, having Surya in the team would have given an additional advantage to the batting line-up,” he said.

India’s Test squad WTC final: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat.

With PTI inputs

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