Team India needs to test their bench strength in second Test
The first Test between India and the West Indies at Rajkot has proved what everyone already knew – this is a battle between David and Goliath, and unlike the fabled story, David here seems to have neither his slingshot nor the stones! The West Indian batting abjectly surrendered to Indian bowlers. Much the same awaits the Windies batting in the second Test at Hyderabad.
India should, of course, try to win the second Test convincingly but keeping an eye on the Australian tour later this year, India should select their bowling attack accordingly. Here is the bowling attack Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri should consider selecting for the second Test in Hyderabad.
Spinners: Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav
India should play just two spinners. Even though all three spinners did well in the first Test, Ashwin should be the one to be left out. This is to be done keeping the upcoming Australian series in mind. The ageing spinner cannot be trusted to be a match-winner in overseas conditions, as he has failed far too often. One of Kuldeep and Jadeja should now be given that role overseas. So, Kohli and co. must make that difficult call for the sake of the larger interest of the team.
Seamers: Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj and Umesh Yadav
Mohammed Shami needs to be rested. He was seen struggling a bit with his fitness in the first Test and since he is almost a guaranteed selection for the Australia tour, he should not be risked in this inconsequential Test. The three seamers have to be Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav and local boy Mohammed Siraj.
As Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami are the four frontline bowlers for the Australia tour, India needs to decide on two reserve pacers, and this Test should be used as an opportunity to find out who those two could be from among Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj.
Siraj especially has been in terrific form of late and the Hyderabad player certainly deserves a debut on his home ground. He could be potent on the fast and bouncy Australian pitches and some experience at the highest level will do him a world of good, regardless of the lack of quality in the opposition batting line up.