- Sanjay Sanapoori | June 28, 2022 | 11:49 am
India is gearing up for the Fifth and Final Test at Edgbaston. They are up 2-1 in the series with the final Test postponed due to a Covid outbreak. A lot has changed though in the interim. Both sides are playing under a new captain, and coaches and England is in with a new style of Cricket as well. With one Test to go, India will have some selection questions to ponder.
If Rohit Sharma is fit he will lock down one of the opening spots. However, with Covid, his participation is still uncertain. The other spot is likely to go to Shubman Gill, who will keep his spot even if Rohit Sharma is fit. In case Rohit Sharma isn’t fit, India will have to choose between Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, and KS Bharat. Mayank Agarwal is a late entry on the side, and will not have too many net sessions before the Test, leaving him pretty raw ahead of the Final Test. Pujara is in some wonderful form having slammed the selector’s doors with a powerful County Stint. He has played the role of an opener in the past. KS Bharat, the other option is on the side for his keeping but after a strong performance in the warm-up game, he may fancy his luck in the top order.
See Also: Chris Gayle opts out of CPL – Cricket Winner
India’s Number Three
For the last decade, Cheteshwar Pujara has been a fixture at number three. 20 bad Tests though saw him out of the squad, with Hanuma Vihari taking his place at three. Pujara though displayed his toughness and came back after a strong county stint. The question now is whether India turns to the experienced man in Pujara or plays Vihari, in a bid to allow him to gain experience for the future.
Will Ravichandran Ashwin Finally get a Chance in the Series
With Ravindra Jadeja in good batting form and a very capable bowler himself, Ravichandran didn’t find a place in the side for all four Tests last year. In place of Ravichandran Ashwin, Jadeja and Shardul Thakur found places and made some wonderful contributions through the series. Last season though the pitches in England were green and helped pacers. This season, the surfaces are flat and this may prompt India to play two spinners. If India is going with two spinners, Ashwin and Jadeja will find places together, reuniting India’s famous spin duo. In case the conditions favor seamers though, Jadeja is likely to push Ashwin out due to his batting skills.
India’s Third Seamer
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami are fixed in the eleven for the Test. They are India’s premium pace bowlers and it is tough to look beyond the pair in an overseas Test. Last year, Mohammad Siraj took part as the third seamer and brought a lot of fire to the attack. His aggression constantly had England on the back foot. Competing with him though is Umesh Yadav. Umesh Yadav isn’t seen as a starter as much with the competition around, but when given the chance he is delivering. He did last year at the Oval as well, taking some key wickets. He took six wickets including Joe Root’s and put himself in contention for the Final Test as well. With both in good form and having some nice numbers in Test Cricket, the hungry pacers are providing the selectors a happy headache.