When the selectors sit down to pick the squad for the rest of the Test series between India and England, they will certainly have plenty of things to consider. With India yet to secure the series, irrespective of the players picked, the starting XI is unlikely to change until the series is won.
Still, there is a possibility that India could look to add some variety, based on the pitches that they are likely to get in the next three Tests that will take place over the next few weeks. Keeping that in mind, here are five players, who are currently in excellent form that should merit a mention in the meeting as the selectors sit down to pick the next squad.
Although Yuvraj Singh is a popular choice, he doesn’t make this list, despite his staggering numbers in this year’s Ranji Trophy not only because there have been a couple of batsmen better than him but also because it would be a step back to bring in a 34-year-old to disrupt a settled middle-order that has been scoring plenty of runs for India.
Here are five players India should look to draft for the final three matches of the ongoing Test series between India and England:
Following his century and fifty in three matches in the Duleep Trophy, Abhinav Mukund has followed it up with three centuries and a fifty in six matches in this year’s Ranji Trophy and it is fair to say that the 26-year-old Tamil Nadu opener is making a strong claim to be included in the Indian Test squad.
Over 100 first-class matches at an average of nearly 50 are impressive numbers on their own. But when you consider that Mukund has played his home games at Chepauk, one of the most spin-friendly tracks in the country and those look even better. And while breaking a settled opening pairing of Vijay and Rahul doesn’t make much sense but the presence of an in-form back-up certainly does.
The emergence of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan as an established opening pair pushed Mukund to the fringes and now the presence of KL Rahul has meant he hasn’t got as many chances as he should have. But the fact that he is just 26 and has an established first-class pedigree, should be enough to secure the back-up opener slot ahead of Gautam Gambhir, who has struggled since his international return and Shikhar Dhawan, who has fallen out of favour.