Indian selectors named a 15-man squad led by skipper Rohit Sharma for the title clash at The Oval on June 7-11.
Batsman Rahane, who last played a Test in January 2022, makes a comeback after an excellent showing in the IPL where he hit a match-winning 71 not out off 29 balls for Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
The usually sedate Rahane has surprised with a newfound explosiveness and has a strike-rate of over 199 in five IPL matches this season.
T20 sensation Suryakumar Yadav has been dropped. He made the five-day team for Australia’s recent visit and played his only Test in Nagpur.
Struggling batsman K.L. Rahul keeps his place after he was dropped from the XI for the final two Australia Tests.
Pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant are not included because of long-term injuries. Mohammed Shami leads the pace attack alongside Mohammed Siraj, while K.S. Bharat remains the lone wicketkeeper.
It will be India’s second WTC final after they lost the decider to New Zealand in the inaugural edition in 2021.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K.L. Rahul, K.S. Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat
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