Chennai: It is going to be a big headache to select the playing eleven for Team India before the Chennai Test match against England. Fast bowler Ishant Sharma has returned to the Test team against England after being left out of the Indian team due to injury during the Australia tour.
The Indian team management will now face the challenge of choosing one of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj. Mohammad Siraj had done well on the Australian tour, so it will be a difficult decision to keep him out of the team.
Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Siraj clash
India will not have many options while choosing the playing XI, but veteran Ishant Sharma will get a tough fight against the young Mohammad Siraj to replace the other fast bowler. In view of the Chennai wicket helping spinners, three spinners can be landed along with two fast bowlers in the first Test match to be held at Chepauk.
It will be an interesting decision as to who is chosen as the partner of Jasprit Bumrah who commanded the pace bowling attack. Ishant has not played red ball cricket for almost a year, while Siraj was in excellent form on the tour of Australia, where he took a total of 13 wickets in three Tests including five wickets in an innings at Brisbane.
Ishant has recently returned to competitive cricket where he bowled a total of 14.1 overs in four Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy matches. It is expected that the bowling coach Arun will decide on Ishant and Siraj in the next two days.
Washington Sundar and Akshar Patel compete
The second decision may be a bit more difficult where one of the in-form Washington Sundar and left-arm spinner Akshar Patel can be selected to join senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Washington made a half-century and took four wickets while making his debut in Brisbane, but his presence will have two identical spinners in the team but his experience will vary significantly.
Hardik Pandya’s selection difficult
Akshar can also show his mettle in batting while he will also be an equal choice as Ravindra Jadeja. Meanwhile, the all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s quarantine is over today i.e. Wednesday and he will join the team for training.
Hardik Pandya may not get a chance to play in the first match, but his bowling burden is expected to increase given the final of the World Test Championship and the five-match Test series in England.