India’s selection committee will meet on February 9 to pick the squad for the remaining 3 Tests of the ongoing Test series against England. The series is currently locked at 1-1 and the selection committee has to make a few key decisions ahead of the third Test.
The Indian contingent is grappling with injury issues and the management will also be closely observing the workload of a few of the players. As such, this meeting and the subsequent announcement will be very important.
We take a look at three possible decisions selectors will take ahead of India vs England 3rd Test series:
3. The Virat Kohli question
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Sydney Seshibedi – Gallo Images/Getty Images)
There are several conflicting reports around the non-availability of former India captain Virat Kohli for the rest of the series owing to personal reasons. One of India’s key batters initially withdrew from the series citing personal reasons.
If Kohli indeed misses the remaining three matches, the selectors will once again be tasked to find a suitable replacement for the team. Shreyas Iyer has been poor in the recent matches and since Sarfaraz Khan is already in the squad, it will be interesting to see if a new batter or another all-rounder is added to the side.
2. What about KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra-Jadeja-and-KL-Rahul. (Photo Source: Twitter)
India had a couple of big injury setbacks in the second Test match since both KL Rahul (quad) and Ravindra Jadeja (hamstring) were ruled out. However, now reports suggest that both these important players have become fit and could well return to the squad. Now, it remains interesting to see if the selectors take the punt and include them both or will be more careful considering the nature of their injuries.
For starters, KL Rahul could possibly replace Shreyas Iyer at the number 4 position and will add solidity to the side. Jadeja is slightly more concerning and hence, the selectors could continue with the same spin bowling attack that got the job done in Vizag. Considering the fact that the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Test matches are very tightly scheduled, India could well include Jadeja for the fourth Test match.
1. Jasprit Bumrah’s workload
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Mohammed Siraj is all set to be included for this third Test and this will come as a big relief to the management as he could shoulder some of the responsibility as far as fast bowling is concerned.
India’s bowling heavily leaned on the brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah to win the second Test. Bumrah comes into this match after being the only bowler in the world to have reached the top spot in the ICC rankings across all formats. He has been in sensational form after returning from a stress fracture of the back since last year’s World Cup. Hence, managing his workload remains a priority for the team management which makes Siraj all the more important for the side. However, he could be rested for the fourth Test match and it will be interesting to see if the selectors pick another pacer in the side.