After a humiliation in the fourth test at Manchester, the India team is all geared up for the fifth and the final test at The Oval which begins tomorrow. There might be some good news for the team management and fans ahead of the game. India’s architect in the Lords victory Ishant Sharma, who missed the third and fourth test due to a leg injury is all set for a return to the Indian playing XI.
Ishant, in all probabilities will replace Pankaj Singh who made his debut two weeks ago. A big news coming from London is that MS Dhoni didn’t turn up to the nets on Wednesday as coach Duncan Fletcher and deputy captain Virat Kohli were seen addressing the team huddle. The players were seen practising handballs with cricket balls instead of football which Dhoni prefers every time.
These might be the signs of MS Dhoni sitting out of the next match but it is learnt that Dhoni has taken leave in order to go for a training session for shooting at a nearby firing range. Adding to this, the second wicket-keeper in the side Naman Ojha is hardly seen practising in the nets. So nothing has to be worried about MS Dhoni’s participation in the all-important fifth test.
India’s area of concern is the opener’s slot who will partner Murali Vijay. Shikhar Dhawan failed miserably and Gautam Gambhir was bought at his expense. Gambhir too failed to gets runs under his belt in the fourth test but is all set to be a part of the fourth test match at The Oval. India might go in with five frontline batsmen followed by Dhoni and the bowlers as Rohit was hardly seen batting in the nets.
Another area of concern for India is Ravindra Jadeja. Stuart Binny and R Ashwin had a long training session at the nets which mean Ravindra Jadeja might leave way for Stuart Binny for the second All-Rounder’s slot. Jadeja wasn’t even present for the slip catching session that had only Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane taking catches for a long time.