Team India selection meet: Questions that need to be answered ahead of Windies tour
Chief selector MSK Prasad and others will meet at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters in Mumbai on Sunday to pick the Indian squads for upcoming tour of West Indies starting August 3. Team India are scheduled to play three T20Is, three ODIs and two Tests against Jason Holders troops. The selectors are faced with multiple tough questions and the teams which they will pick on Sunday will determine in which direction the team is headed after crashing out in the semi-final of the recently-concluded World Cup . Let’s take a look at some important decisions that the selectors will have to take ahead of the Windies tour –
Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah
According to various media reports, skipper Virat Kohli and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah could skip the T20I and ODI series owing to workload management. In Kohli’s absence, vice-captain Rohit Sharma will once again be tasked with leading the side in the limited-over formats. It will be interesting to see who comes in place of Bumrah if is rested for series. Also, MS Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour and Shikhar Dhawan is nursing a thumb injury. So, if Kohli and Bumrah are indeed rested, India will be without their four first team stars and that is going to weaken the team substantially.
Number four conundrum
This issue has plagued India for a while now and it’s high time something is done about it. India used KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant in the world cup but the position still remains vacant. Rahul in particular did well but because of Dhawan’s injury he has been promoted up the other. Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer and Subhman Gill are being touted as potential favourites to land the number four job but will the selectors go with young blood or experienced hand for this crucial position remains to be seen.
Futures of Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav
Middle-order batsmen Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav failed to grab their opportunities in the World Cup and there are murmurs that it’s the end of the road for them. Age is not on the side of the duo and there are many youngster waiting in the wings for a chance to impress. Will the selectors hand them a final chance to show their worth or will they be discarded in favour of youngsters?
First choice wicket-keeper in Tests
In the absence of regular stumper Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant grabbed his opportunities with both hands. Not only he scored runs with the blade but showed immense improvement behind the stumps in the longest format. But with Saha getting back to full fitness, it will be interesting to see if Pant gets the nod ahead of him. Skipper Kohli has reiterated in the past that Saha is India’s top wicket-keeper in Tests but the rise of Pant may just keep those words in the past.