As the limited-overs leg of the ongoing English tour comes to a close with the third and final ODI on Tuesday, the focus shifts to the all-important five-Test series, starting August 1 in Edgbaston.
The Indian selectors are set to make a couple of crucial choices when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) senior selection committee meets in Leeds to pick the squad for the Test series.
As it turns out, MSK Prasad & Co. may only pick a squad for the first three Tests, keeping in mind the key players who are likely to miss the initial part of the long series due to injury concerns, according to CricketNext.
Bumrah needs more time, fit-again Shami likely to be recalled
Jasprit Bumrah is unlikely to play the first Test as he needs more time to recover from the finger injury he suffered during the first of the two-match T20I series in Ireland last month.
The 24-year-old white-ball specialist was handed a surprise Test debut in South Africa earlier this year and he impressed the team management with his performances in the Rainbow Nation.
Mohammed Shami is likely to be recalled to the Test squad. The Delhi Daredevils pacer was dropped for the one-off Afghanistan Test last month after he had failed to clear the yo-yo test.
Shami though is available for selection as he managed to clear the much-talked-about fitness Test after a successful rehabilitation session at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Youngster to replace injured Saha?
Meanwhile, Wriddhiman Saha is unlikely to be fit for at least the initial part of the five-Test series as he is yet to recover from the thumb injury he suffered during the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Dinesh Karthik is likely to be named as Saha's replacement. Notably, the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman had made his return to the Test side after eight years during the one-off match against Afghanistan last month.
In what can be seen as an interesting development, the selectors may name Rishabh Pant as the back-up wicketkeeper if Saha is unable to get fit in time, according to The New Indian Express.
The 20-year-old, who had amassed 684 runs in IPL 2018, continued his good run in the India A tri-series and the unofficial Test against West Indies A in in England.
The selectors are set to hold discussions with India 'A' coach Rahul Dravid before handing him the maiden Test call-up.
Will Kuldeep be rewarded for his white-ball exploits?
Even as R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja remain the frontrunners for the Test sports, wrist-spinners, especially Kuldeep Yadav looks certain to be named in the Test squad.
Virat Kohli was asked about the chances of playing Kuldeep in the first Test and the Indian captain hinted about its possibility as well.
One shouldn't be surprised if Kuldeep gets a chance in Edgbaston as the English batsmen have so far been unable to come up with anything close to a solution to tackle him.
The 23-year-old has picked up 14 wickets from four matches on the ongoing tour against the hosts.
Test regulars Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay are already playing for A against the England Lions in Worcester. The visitors are expected to field a full-strength squad for the four-day practice match against Essex, starting July 25.