It will be back to business for the international selectors after the end of the impasse India’s participation in the Champions Trophy in England next month. While it is learnt that the selectors already have a solid draft of the team, the debate could be about choosing between and extra batsman and a spinner when they sit down in Delhi on Monday.
The squad is not likely to see much of a deviation from the one that played against England in January barring Rohit Sharma who is almost certain to replace KL Rahul who is out with a shoulder injury. Every batsman had a decent IPL so far even though none has been close to taking it by storm. That gives Ajinkiya Rahane some hope of making a comeback despite his none-too-impressive recent form. If there is any question mark offie R Ashwin’s fitness, then left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav could get a look in as backup spinner. The question is ehether the selectors back the sevent batsman formula or they want an extra attacking spinner in kuldeep Yadav.
“If they want more cushion in batting then Manish Pandey and Rahane can be the reserve batsman. That’s the only way Rahane can get in” – Former selector Saba Karim Said.
The surprise in the selection, sources could come in the form of wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant but only if the selectors opt for an extra bat. Whenever the selectors have spurng a surpise in the last couple of years, it has favoured the old guard in Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Sing, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane/Kuldeep Yadav/Rishbah Pant.
Dark Horse: Ashish Nehra, Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh.