IND vs ENG Test: 5 selection headaches for Rahul Dravid & Rohit Sharma before Rajkot Test

IND vs ENG Test: 5 selection headaches for Rahul Dravid & Rohit Sharma before Rajkot Test

IND vs ENG Test series is locked at 1-1 and before Rajkot Test, Rahul Dravid & Rohit Sharma need to solve team selection puzzle.

The week-long break is officially over and it’s time for the IND vs ENG 3rd Test. However, even as the IND vs ENG Test series is locked at 1-1 after India’s win, head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma face selection headaches. The good news though is KL Rahul’s recovery from injury. However, Ravindra Jadeja is yet to pass fitness test and the poor batting form of KS Bharat raises more questions than answers.

5 selection headaches

  • Rajat Patidar or Sarfaraz Khan?
  • KS Bharat or Dhruv Jurel?
  • 4 spinners or 2 seamers?
  • Mohd Siraj or Mukesh Kumar?
  • Is Ravindra Jadeja fit enough?
India vs England

Rajat Patidar or Sarfaraz Khan?

Following impressive run in the India A vs England Lions series, Rajat Patidar made his Test debut. More importantly, he made his Test debut ahead of Sarfaraz Khan who lit up domestic circuit with centuries.

But on his debut, he could only score 32 and 9, failing to make an impression. While dropping him only after a match could be unfair, India need a stable batter in the middle-order and Sarfaraz can help in that in the IND vs ENG 3rd Test.

KS Bharat or Dhruv Jurel

The biggest question is selection is of the wicketkeeper. KS Bharat has had his chances but with scores of 8, 6, 23, 17, 3, 44, 5, 23, 41, 28, 17 & 6, he has failed to make an impression. That he averages only 20.09 after 12 Test innings is a cause for concern.

With Ishan Kishan out of the picture and KL Rahul unavailable to keep wickets, Dhruv Jurel remains the only contender. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid must take a call on whether it’s time to try out another keeper-batter instead of misfiring KS Bharat.

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4 spinners or 2 seamers

Another important question is regarding the bowling attack. Rajkot pitch is the best batting surface of the lot. Considerin the Ranji Trophy matches, there has been some assistance for the seamers.

But on this ground, spinners and pacers both have bagged fifers in the Ranji Trophy 2024. That sends a mixed signal to the India team management. Hence, India will have to take a cal after assessing the pitch. If it has any assistance for seamers, Mohd Siraj is likely to partner Jasprit Bumrah. And India will have to drop a spinner in Kuldeep Yadav if Ravindra Jadeja is fit to play. Else, India can go with four spinners dropping Mukesh Kumar.

Mohd Siraj or Mukesh Kumar

If India do decide to go with two seamers, who will partner Jasprit Bumrah in IND vs ENG 3rd Test?

The choice is between Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar and Akash Deep. However, with his experience, Siraj comes in as the potential second seamer. Siraj was given a rest ahead of 2nd Test and he will be raring to go. As for Mukesh Kumar, he did not do himsef any favours with lukewarm returns. In the IND vs ENG Vizag Test, he could only bag a wicket while Bumrah bagged a six-fer.

Is Ravindra Jadeja fit enough?

Another big question is over Ravindra Jadeja. The all-rounder missed out on the 2nd Test with a hamstring injury. While he has been added to the squad for the remaining IND vs ENG Tests, it is subject to fitness. Only if Jadeja clears his fitness test, he will make it for the home match in IND vs ENG 3rd Test.

India Squad: 

Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep 

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