The selectors of the Indian cricket team were expected to announce a total of four squads on Monday (November 28). However, they announced the team for just third Test and the ODI series against Sri Lanka, and there was no news about the squad that will travel to South Africa early next year.
The reason which came out later was Amitabh Choudhary, the convener of the meeting, could not reach Nagpur but now, it has come to notice that there is one more reason behind selectors deciding not to announce the squad for South Africa series.
As per a report in the Indian Express, selectors are looking forward to testing the bench strength in the third Test against Sri Lanka in Delhi. Players like Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar are yet to play any Test in the series and there can be a case when they might find a place in the playing XI in the next game,
“It was thought best to watch the performance in the third Test match against Sri Lanka for the Test series in South Africa, for that’s the most important selection. Maybe, towards the end of the third Test or just after is the right time to pick the squad for the Tests in South Africa. It was decided collectively that the T20 selection (for Sri Lanka) will also be done later,” the BCCI member told The Indian Express.
Th reports have earlier suggested there will be a direct competition between Kuldeep Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah for a spot in the team for South Africa tour. While Bumrah has pushed for his selection riding on his impressive show in the ODI format, Kuldeep has played two Test matches with a good record.
Though the presence of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja make Indian spin attack, a formidable one and Kuldeep might not be needed in Test series in South Africa.
The chances of Bumrah making it to the Test squad are slightly higher, but the selectors would want to test Kuldeep in Tests again before announcing the squad. Delhi’s Navdeep Saini will also be one player to watch out for during the selection meeting.
Vijay Shankar can also be given a place in the playing XI during next Test match, though he has minute chances of flying to South Africa. Hardik Pandya is the prefered choice for that spot and has fixed his place for few months to come. Shankar is a back up to Pandya and in case the Baroda star fails to deliver, Shankar is always available for the selectors.
Selectors made no changes to the squad for the third Test and Virat Kohli was selected for the game. He has been given rest for the ODI series as of now. Rohit Shama will make his captaincy debut at international level in Kohli’s absence. The third Test starts on December 2 while the ODI series will kick off on December 10.
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