Indian Selectors to Name Squad for First Three Tests Against England Today

Thanks to a couple of injury issues, the Indian selectors are expected to name the squad only for the first three Tests of the five-match series when they meet in Leeds for the selection committee meeting. While Wriddhiman Saha is set to miss the bus, it will be interesting to see if the selectors pick Jasprit Bumrah in the initial squad or wait to draft him in later. The squad is likely to be announced on Wednesday.

Speaking to CricketNext, sources in the know or developments said that there was no point in naming a squad for all the five Tests since there were a few players who have injury issues, but are recovering well.

“See, this is not a three-game series. In such a case, you ideally pick the squad and then you proceed. But in a long five-match series, you don’t wish to pick the squad at one go. Some of the players who might be sore or have an injury and are progressing well will come into the picture as and when they are fit. Like Bumrah is certain to need time to be fit till the second Test,” he explained.

Asked if some surprises were planned, as suggested by skipper Virat Kohli after the win in the opening ODI, he said: “Some of the young names are surely to be discussed, but it is too early to say who will get the nod and who will not. But performances are bound to be taken into account when the wise men sit down.”

Dinesh Karthik though looks set to replace the injured Wriddhiman Saha in the playing XI when Team India takes the field against England in the first Test of the five-match series on August 1. Saha had injured his thumb during the IPL and while it was initially believed that he would be fit in four to five weeks, the recovery hasn’t gone as per plan and the wicket-keeper was seen sporting a soft plaster even last week.

Saha lost the battle to get fit in time for either the four-day ‘unofficial’ Test against England Lions from Monday at Worcester or the four-day warm-up match against Essex, which starts on July 25 in Chelmsford. And the team management has been very vocal about players acclimatising to conditions before taking the field for the senior team.

Another interesting selection dilemma will be whether to go ahead and bring back fit-again pacer Mohammed Shami, especially with Bumrah set to miss the first Test and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar suffering from a bad back. Shami passed the Yo-Yo test a couple of weeks back after failing to clear it before the Afghanistan Test.


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