So here we are, play starts tomorrow and at its end we wll have a new officially crowned world champion - New Zealand, having won the inauguaral competition with a display of complete teamwork.
This time round, we have India against Australia. India currently sit top of the Test rankings and were beaten finalists last time. The Aussies are the bookies favourite across the board.
For India, the batting seems straghtforward - Rohit and Gill to open, then Pujara, Kohli, Rahane - there's a lot of runs there. They are missing Pant, who won't play until nxt year likely, as he continues his recovery. The popular option seem to be Bharat will continue behind the stumps rather than Rishan but it is a question mark, Both players are inexperienced at Test level, inexerienced in playing in England. Critically, Bharat played in the Border-Gavaskar series, so will have more knowledge of the Aussies. I think that will tip the balance.
Bowlng-wise it comes down to whether India play two spinners/three quicks, or one spinner/four quicks. The weather and confitions are a bit tricky as they seem to offer something for spin and seam. If they go with one spinner then one of Jadeja or Ashwin drops out. Ashwin is somewhat talismanic in terms of playing Australia, Redeja probably too good to drop. I would likely go with both but that really is tossing a coin - the conditions could quite easly turn the wicket into a skittle alley for the quicks.
And as for the quicks, no Bumrah, huge loss obviously. Shami and Siiraj take the first two spots. Third would be a choice between Thakur and Umesh, Thakur for me. And both picked if they go with four seamers.
As for Australia, their team picks itself with Hazelwood injured and Boland coming in. Even the battng otder of the bowlers is a given.
It's a tough one to call this. There are a few players who may not be around should their countries contest the next final. I'm going with Australia but it's not guaranteed by any stretch.