February 18, 2024
BCCI Prepares for Key Selection-Meeting: Kohli's Absence and Squad Changes Loom in Remaining Tests Against England
Sports Cricket

BCCI Prepares for Key Selection-Meeting: Kohli’s Absence and Squad Changes Loom in Remaining Tests Against England

BCCI Prepares for Key Selection-Meeting: Kohli’s Absence and Squad Changes Loom in Remaining Tests Against England.image/PTI

BCCI Prepares for Key Selection-Meeting: Kohli’s Absence and Squad Changes Loom in Remaining Tests Against England

The BCCI senior men’s selection committee, led by former pacer Ajit Agarkar, is gearing up to convene in the next few days to reveal the India squad for the remaining three Tests against England. Expected to join the deliberations are Captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid. Following India’s triumph in the second Test in Visakhapatnam, Rohit engaged in an extensive discussion with Agarkar.

The impending selection meeting is poised to be intricate, with numerous uncertainties to address, chief among them being the availability of Virat Kohli. Kohli, who sat out the initial two Tests in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, will miss the third and fourth Tests and remains doubtful for the fifth and final Test in Dharamsala, according to ESPNCricinfo. Although Kohli has purportedly communicated his decision to Rohit and the selectors, the committee might delay announcing the squad for the last Test, anticipating a potential series-deciding scenario.

Pacer Mohammed Shami is another significant player unlikely to feature in the series due to his ongoing recovery from an ankle injury sustained during the ODI World Cup.

On a positive note, there is encouraging news for India. KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, who were absent from the second Test due to injuries, are expected to make a return for the next two Tests. Rahul suffered a quadriceps injury, while Jadeja hurt his hamstring in the series opener. Both players are currently undergoing recovery at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, and while the NCA doctors’ final report is pending, optimism surrounds their potential inclusion in the upcoming Tests.

Pacer Mohammed Siraj, released from the squad for the second Test, is set to rejoin the team to share the workload with Jasprit Bumrah. The team management is inclined against playing four spinners, making Siraj a likely replacement for Mukesh Kumar, who struggled with his performance in the previous Test.

Contrary to speculation about Bumrah’s potential rest for the third Test, the newly crowned No.1-ranked Test bowler is expected to feature in Rajkot. The team management considers Bumrah pivotal to India’s bowling attack, and the nine-day gap between the second and third Tests is deemed sufficient to manage his workload. However, if India secures victory in the third Test, there is a possibility that Bumrah might be rested for the fourth Test in Ranchi, given the limited turnaround time.

With the ongoing series deadlocked at 1-1, the upcoming third Test holds immense significance, potentially placing the victorious team in a favorable position.

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