The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors will hold a meeting on Monday to announce the squad for the upcoming Zimbabwe series and the West Indies tour. India are set to play three ODIs and three T20s against the African nation from June 11-22, and a four-match Test series against West Indies in July.
With the amount of cricket, which has been played over the last couple of months, some senior cricketers are set to rested for the Zimbabwe tour, while a strong team will be sent to the West Indies.
Stars like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan may not feature during the Zimbabwe series. Hence, young guns like Shreyas Iyer, Karun Nair and Krunal Pandya might get a chance to represent India, giving them a wonderful opportunity to shine and impress the national selectors. Consistent IPL 2016 performers have a good chance to feature in the squad.
However, it is not yet confirmed if India captain, MS Dhoni will be available for the Zimbabwe series. If Dhoni does not feature in the squad, Ajinkya Rahane, who also captained India in their last tour of Zimbabwe, will most likely be handed the skipper's role once again.
"Before any tour if any player wants to take rest they convey it to the BCCI and the selection committee. Even if the selection committee wants to experiment with new players they take the senior players into confidence," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Anurag Thakur as saying.
If Dhoni is absent, it will also open the doors for another wicketkeeper, and with some credible performances in the ongoing IPL, Robin Uthappa and KL Rahul will be the leading candidates. But, if the selectors are looking for a regular wicketkeeper, Wriddhiman Saha, who will don the gloves for India in the Test series against West Indies, could get the nod.
After IPL 2016 gets over, senior cricketers will have more than a month to rest, so that they are fresh for the Test series against West Indies, where Virat Kohli will lead the team.
India have been an outstanding under Kohli in the Test arena, defeating Sri Lanka and South Africa in their last two series. Kohli will be gunning for a hat-trick of series wins when they face the West Indies. Batsmen like Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit and Rahane are set to be chosen for the series, with Rahul set to give Rohit a tough fight for a place in the playing XI. Consistent performers in the domestic circuit, like like Nair could also get the nod.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are expected to be the frontline spinners for India, while Amit Mishra is expected to be chosen as the third spinner.
It is in the seamers department that could witness the likes of Jasprit Bumrah getting selected, and Mohammed Shami finding his way back in the team. Ishant Sharma is a definite inclusion, while Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav will hope they have done enough to justify their place in the team, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, another Test squad hopeful.