|Image source: Times Of India|
India begins its test campaign after a lay-off of 7 months. Unlike the last 8 tests it lost, the next few are on its own home soil. With the home advantage and few good selections, India can get its winning momentum back and pep up the rankings too! This post acts as a fellow-selector in analyzing the best possible Indian squad that can be picked in post-Dravid era!
Step 1: Decomposition of 14 men squad:
A two-test home series needs to have 14 members. 15 or 16 member squad will mean at least 4 players benched throughout the series.
| || |
| || |
(Don’t need third specialist opener in subcontinent)
(Two extra batsmen for Dravid void )
Step2: Zeroing in on final team
No two opinions here. Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag are automatic selections. Sehwag,however, had a glute problem at the fag end of the series. In case of his unavailability, Rahane can sneak in.
Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli are automatic selections for number 4,5,6 positions in team. The number three position left void by Rahul Dravid is up for the grabs. Rohit Sharma’s dismal show has decreased his chances. Suresh Raina might not have done enough to convince of a test comeback. Cheteshwar Pujara will make the cut most probably. While the fifth batsman might be Manoj Tiwary, on accounts of form.. S badrinath has not been on radar for India-A team even.
MS Dhoni is the obvious and lone choice.
This is interesting as Harbhajan took 3/29 for Essex recently that might make him the second-choice spinner for the home series. Ashwin is a certain choice. Ojha might edge out Rahul Sharma, given the lack of experience of latter.
Zaheer Khan is a regular choice. Umesh Yadav might take the second place. Praveen Kumar, if fit, can sneak in as third-choice pacer. Injuries galore in this section as Ishant, Sreesanth, Aaron and Nehra all unfit and some gradually out of selection radar.
India won’t look to experiment with new faces much having lost last eight matches. It would like to take a safe route of winning a series and getting some wins under the belt before the October series against Aussies.
Virender Sehwag/Rahane (subject to fitness) Praveen Kumar/Ashok Dinda (subject to fitness)