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Reports: India’s Test squad announcement delay includes key player’s availability factor

Reports: India's Test squad announcement delay includes key player's availability factor

Team India (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Ajit Agarkar-led BCCI selection committee was slated to convene virtually on Thursday to finalise India’s squad for the remaining three Tests against England. However, uncertainty loomed over whether the meeting took place as scheduled. Reports from Cricbuzz hinted at the likelihood of the selection meeting being postponed to Friday due to the absence of key figures. Captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid are expected to participate in the meeting to provide their valuable insights.

The delay in announcing India’s squad for the third, fourth, and fifth Tests appeared to be unrelated to Virat Kohli, according to certain sources within the BCCI. While Kohli’s status is known to the selectors and team management, the delay, if any, in squad announcement might revolve around Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Ravindra Jadeja. The selectors seem inclined to take their time, especially considering the third Test is nearly a week away.

An unnamed BCCI official had previously disclosed that Kohli has yet to communicate his return date to the board. Nevertheless, it’s increasingly apparent that the former India captain will not be available for the Rajkot and Ranchi Tests. A decision regarding his participation in the final Test will be made in due course, although his involvement in the series seems improbable.

Also Read: IND vs ENG: BCCI Official gives major update on Virat Kohli’s availability for remaining Tests

Team India likely to leverage Bumrah factor in third Test

The team management had briefly considered resting Bumrah for the third Test, but recent developments in the series have led to a rethink. With the upcoming match set to unfold on another potential batting-friendly surface in Rajkot, the selectors now advocate for his inclusion. Despite Mohammed Siraj’s likely return to the XI after sitting out the second Test, the prospect of replacing Bumrah’s skills on such a surface, especially with the series finely poised, poses a significant challenge.

The right arm pacer’s impactful performance in the first two Tests, which accounted for 15 wickets from 58 overs, highlighted his importance to the Indian team. Consequently, the team management is keen on retaining him for the third Test. However, the final decision hinges upon consultations with him, taking into account the comprehensive medical report from the BCCI’s medical team regarding the pacer’s workload.

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