Gautam Gambhir India
Gautam Gambhir will hope to be included in the India squad for the Test series against EnglandIANS

Injuries to key players is the major issue that the selectors will need to deal with when the India squad for the Test series against England is picked on Wednesday. There are fitness worries in the opening slot, middle order and the bowling as Virat Kohli's side look for another positive result at home.

The selection would have been a pretty straightforward one had all the players been fit, but with plenty of fitness questions hanging over the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma, the selectors will have a few important decisions to make.

Dhawan missed the final Test against New Zealand because of a thumb injury, having only played in the second match in Kolkata after KL Rahul pulled up with a hamstring problem.

The left-hander is still not thought to be a 100 per cent fit, which could open up a spot for Gautam Gambhir to continue his career in the international level. Rahul, though, might make it to the squad, as long as the selectors are convinced he can last the five days.

If Rahul is given the fitness go-ahead, then he should slot into the playing XI alongside Murali Vijay, considering how good he has been in the recent past, despite Gambhir showing he is in good form with a hundred for Delhi in a recent Ranji Trophy match against Odisha.

There is also a slight worry over Rohit Sharma, who picked up an injury in the final ODI against New Zealand on Saturday. If the injury is deemed serious enough for the batsman to miss the first Test, then Karun Nair, in a few squads so far, but yet to be given an opportunity, could get a shot at a debut.

In the bowling, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami should return after being rested for the entire ODI series against the Kiwis, while Ishant Sharma is another slated to make a comeback. The fast bowlers missed the entire New Zealand tour after coming down with Chikungunya, but having played a couple of first-class matches, Ishant looks ready to return to the squad.

Doubts still linger over Bhuvneshwar Kumar's readiness, however, with the fast bowler yet to prove his fitness after picking up a back injury.

The selectors also need to ponder over whether they need an extra spinner to add to Ashwin, Jadeja and Amit Mishra. Jayant Yadav was a part of the squad in the New Zealand Test series and the off-spinner, after an impressive debut in the final ODI against the Black Caps, could play some part in the five-match Test rubber, particularly considering the amount of left-handers that England have in their batting lineup.

The first Test begins from November 9.

Also read
Quick Links