With a series on the line, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to name a squad with not many surprises in it for the last three Tests. A look at some potential storylines…
Middle-order specialist batters
Following a brief rest, it’s understood that KL Rahul may be back in the side. Considering how highly the management rates his play, he will walk into the side and take the No. 4 spot. So who will miss out? A took up between Rajat Patidar and Shreyas Iyer for the No. 5? This management always prefers the incumbent over a new face so Shreyas, battling indifferent form, is the favourite to keep his place as long as he’s declared fit by the officials. The other thing to note about Shreyas. He may be struggling for big runs but he has passed the eye test.
Siraj for Mukesh? Or another spinner…
At this point, this is a straight forward change in the XI. Mohammed Siraj, rested for the game at Visakhapatnam, should walk straight back into the side. If that’s the case, Mukesh could be the one to make way. The other option the management have in front of them is copy England and plump for a spinning all-rounder, somebody like a Washington Sundar.
The wicket-keeper slot
It’s fair to say that KS Bharat has not grabbed the opportunities given to him in the continued absence of Rishabh Pant. In the seven Tests the 30-year-old has featured in, he’s yet to hit a 50. While his keeping has been steady, the batting scheme of things, to be generous, remains a work in progress. One would expect him to retain his spot in the XI ahead of Dhruv Jurel at least for Rajkot but the status quo may change.