'If Dravid goes with 16 players..': Ex-IND, NZ players say India 'will have problems' selecting star spinner for SA tour

Updated on Dec 06, 2021 08:19 AM IST

India are scheduled to play three Tests on the tour which begins on December 26.

Axar Patel (L), Ravichandran Ashwin (C) and Ravindra Jadeja.(PTI)
Axar Patel (L), Ravichandran Ashwin (C) and Ravindra Jadeja.(PTI)
, New Delhi

India's performances across the two Tests against India have added to the selection headache ahead of the tour to South Africa. While Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal made an impressive comeback in the opening order, Shreyas Iyer enjoyed a dream debut in the Kanpur Test, where he scored a century and a half-century. Among bowlers, Axar Patel and Mohammed Siraj also made their mark with crucial contributions alongside seasoned campaigners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Umesh Yadav. 

India are scheduled to play three Tests on the tour which begins on December 26, and former cricketers Sanjay Bangar and Simon Doull believe that it is going to be a long selection meeting.

Spinner Axar Patel grabbed his fifth five-wicket haul in only his fourth Test in Kanpur, and contributed efficiently with the bat in the second game (52 and 41*). Bangar, however, insisted that it is “too early to say” if he will be on the plane to South Africa later this month.

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“It is too early to say. It is going to be a hard selection. I guess the team will be allowed to travel with 20-21 team members. That is where his selection could become a little easier,” said Bangar.

"However, if Rahul Dravid decides to go with a 16-member squad, then I think it is going to be a marathon selection meeting."

Doull, meanwhile, believes that India are in a good position where they have a problem of plenty.

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“Can you take all three spinners? When you look at the situation surrounding COVID protocols where you need a good number of players, then those selections are easier. If not, India have so many problems. How many spinners do you need to take? How many seamers you need to take? Who will be your second keeper? What's your opening batting mix? Who's going to take that third opening batting spot as well as the no.3?” Doull said.

“The beauty for me, is that Indian cricket has those bases covered. You're not going to put players in for the sake of bringing them in, you're actually going to bring quality, world-class players into the team. That's always going to be a good selection meeting.”

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