With the 1-3 walloping at the hands of England still fresh, the national selectors will meet in Mumbai on Tuesday to pick the Test squad for the Australia tour starting later in November. The West Indies’ withdrawal has made it difficult for selectors as there are no Test performances for reference barring the England tour and Duleep Trophy.
Selectors usually pick three openers for overseas tours and two of the three who went to England are likely to stay — Murali Vijay by virtue of his performance and Shikhar Dhawan for his knocks in New Zealand and to an extent his ODI performance against the West Indies and Sri Lanka. KL Rahul might just score over Gautam Gambhir for his two centuries against Central.
Despite the failure of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara in England, both will retain their slots and Rohit Sharma who played only one Test in England before getting injured could also find a spot. It would be interesting to see who takes the place as No 7 after Ajinkya Rahane and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Stuart Binny’s bowling has opened up an extra batting slot and Naman Ojha or Wriddhiman Saha could be the second keeper. The selectors might consider going in with three spinners and after R Ashwin and Ravinder Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha and Karn Sharma are all in line.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron are automatic choices and Umesh Yadav through his performance against Australia A have staked claim. Pankaj Singh could get another chance for his performance in the Duleep Trophy.