India’s Final Modifications and Discussions ahead of the 1st Test

With the first Test starting soon at Adelaide, the uncertain members in the side become a discussion point while picking the eleven.

India is lucky to have six players, settled in the eleven for the first Test.

Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Hanuma Vihari build the middle-order.

Each player has cemented their spots, and the middle-order will only come into the discussion after the first Test when Kohli leaves.

Coming to the bowling, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah will lead the pack, with the third pacer and a fourth bowling option in doubt.

The fourth bowling option becomes a further doubt, as India will need to decide between two spinners or an extra pacer.

The opening pair is still to be decided as the options aren’t too experienced.

While Pant is likely to take the gloves, there remains a possibility for India to turn to Saha for the experience.

Let us now look into the likely debates regarding the playing eleven.

Opening Pair:

India
Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw last opened for India but, Gill looks promising

Mayank Agarwal made his Test debut in Australia last time.

He started his Test career well and is likely to keep his place with some good scores in the warm-ups.

Prithvi Shaw partnered with Agarwal in India’s recent Tests, but his performance hasn’t been up to the mark.

He has been out of form and couldn’t string a good partnership at the top in New Zealand.

Gill is the third option and is yet to make his debut.

He looked promising in the tour games and is a beautiful talent.

While Agarwal and Shaw may keep their spots, the selectors will continue to look at Gill and see if he can edge Shaw out of the eleven.

Wicket-Keepers:

Pant has been India’s preferred option overseas

Rishabh Pant and Wrridhiman Saha compete for the big gloves, and both played at least one tour game.

Going by the tour games, Pant may have sealed his place with a beautiful century, but with the Test under lights, Saha may have a chance due to his keeping skills.

Pant has been India’s preferred keeper overseas, while Saha in India, but with Pant’s form, there is a slight chance for Saha’s inclusion.

Both are capable batsmen, and it will be a tough choice to select between the two keepers.

On the last visit, Pant played all four Tests and also the New Zealand Tests.

He was preferred even when Saha was fit.

With the ball’s nature under lights, Saha may be included, as a skilled keeper may be preferred against a wildly moving Cricket ball.

The Final Two Bowling Slots:

Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are fixed in the eleven, leaving India with two spots to fill.

In an ideal situation, one of the spots may have been taken by Ashwin or Jadeja.

With Jadeja injured, and spinners not very prolific in day-night Tests, India may consider playing an all-pace attack.

Even if India does play a spinner, there will be a small discussion between Ashwin and Kuldeep, who took a five-for in his last Test in Australia.

The third bowler pacer’s role will be crucial in this series.

With Ishant Sharma injured, the third bowlers must ensure he doesn’t release the pressure Shami and Bumrah build.

He must be a bowler who can share the burden.

The options for the third pacer are Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, and Navdeep Saini.

Umesh Yadav has always been one of the preferred pacers and contains a lot of experience.

He has toured Australia three times and is on his fourth visit.

Saini and Siraj are both talented but yet to play a Test.

Of the three bowlers, Umesh Yadav may make the eleven with his pace and knowledge.

He has bowled in a day-night game before and has been one of India’s favorite fast bowlers.

The fourth bowler will then be a toss-up between two spinners and the two pacers.

Of the remaining options, Ashwin is the most experienced, while others are highly talented.

Along with the four bowlers, India will also use Hanuma Vihari’s off-spin, allowing them to field five bowling options.

To sum it up, India will have five bowlers contesting two spots, with Umesh Yadav likely to take one of them.

Sanjay Sanapoori

A mechanical engineering student, who has immense love for cricket. Been a fan of the game since 2009 and would love to stay involved with Cricket someway or the other.