Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Focus On Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma As Selectors Meet For Two-Match Test Series Against West Indies

Focus On Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma As Selectors Meet For Two-Match Test Series Against West Indies

The two Tests will be played in Rajkot (October 4-8) and Hyderabad (October 12-16).

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The Indian team for the upcoming two-match series against the visiting West Indies is likely to announce on Wednesday.

According to a PTI report which quoted sources in BCCI, claim that the team will be picked when the five selectors meet tomorrow but the announcement will come after the Asia Cup final on Friday.

The two Tests will be held in Rajkot (October 4-8) and Hyderabad (October 12-16).

For some strange reason, the Indian cricket board did not issue a customary media advisory for the meeting in the capital.

And it's believed that main discussion will be regarding Shikhar Dhawan's poor technique in testing conditions along with the fitness status of Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin.

The report claim that one of the main reasons for the delay in official announcement is Dhawan's selection and also the injuries to Ishant (ankle) and Ashwin (groin). Both the players have been integral parts of the Virat Kohli-led Test side for some time.

Since the two Tests will be a sort of dress rehearsal for the tour of Australia, selectors will be keen on giving all those players opportunity looking at the series Down Under.

Murali Vijay is back among the runs in county cricket but having been recently dropped, it will be difficult for him to make a comeback.

KL Rahul after his stylish 149 at the Oval has sealed one of the opener's slot but the issue is with Dhawan.

His prowess on flat tracks with lack of seam movement is known to one and all as it has been evident during the Asia Cup.

However, when the ball swings or seams at a high pace, his technique has been found wanting as he has been a complete failure outside the sub-continent.

In the recently concluded Test series in England, Dhawan failed to register a single half-century in eight innings.

There is a possibility that if given a chance, Dhawan will again plunder runs against a weak West Indies attack on featherbeds before turning into potential 'walking wicket' against the likes of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

The bone of contention will be whether Dhawan's sub-continental form once again becomes a parameter for his selection when the Australia tour is round the corner.

Youngsters Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal have scored truckloads of runs and are waiting for their opportunity.

Prithvi was included in the squad for the last two Test matches in England and would be hoping that he gets his much-deserved Test cap at Rajkot.

While skipper Virat Kohli is expected to make a  comeback after a much needed three-week break, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant are certainties.

Hanuma Vihari and Karun Nair will be the two middle-order back-ups while Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also expected to make a comeback into the side.

Ashwin's hip injury and Ishant's dodgy ankle are two worrying areas for the selectors.

Both have pulled out of the Vijay Hazare Trophy and it's still not clear if they will be fit for the Test series.

Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are two sure shot picks in the squad.

In case Ashwin misses out, Vihari's part-time off-spin is one option and in the next line of spinners, the choice is between Krishnappa Gowtham and Jayant Yadav.

Shahbaz Nadeem despite his brilliant form will have a tough fight with Jadeja and Kuldeep already in the squad.

For the leg-spin option, there is Amit Mishra and Yuzvendra Chahal even though A team coach Rahul Dravid has termed the latter as "work in progress".

(With PTI inputs)


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