Ahead of the second India vs West Indies Test match, Virat Kohli has a few decisions to make, and while these decisions reflect the quality in the Indian dressing room, the management needs to ensure that the players are given a long rope and that the players out in the middle are par for the course.
Starting off, there is a decision which needs to be made. As far the opening slot is concerned, Mayank Agarwal encountered his first failure in five matches and hence, he needs to be given confidence that he has the backing of the management. KL Rahul, on the other hand, has to speak with and the virtues of him staying put and kicking on after getting a start need to be drilled.
Solid middle order and fast bowlers conundrum
The form of Hanuma Vihari and Ajinkya Rahane is excellent news for India and hence, Rohit Sharma could continue to warm the benches. As was seen in Antigua, a solid middle-order needs to be present if the top order is blown away.
As far as the decision with R Ashwin is considered, this is a tricky call for Kohli to make. Ravindra Jadeja was brilliant in Antigua, especially with the bat and if reports are to be believed, the pitch in Jamaica could offer assistance to the seamers which means India's number 1 off-spinner might not get another game. This needs to be communicated to Ashwin.
Also, if the pitch is indeed seamer-friendly, will Kohli go in with an all-pace attack and drop Ravindra Jadeja in favour of Umesh Yadav? He is not averse to such decisions, but the balance Jadeja brings to the table could tilt the scales in his favour.
"We have a group discussion and then we decide what's best for the team. There will always be opinions about the XI, but people will know that it's in the interest of the team," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The captain also spoke about the workload management of India's fast-bowlers after the Antigua Test and hence it will be interesting to see the crew of bowlers he selects for the second Test in Jamaica.
"Bumrah's workload is most important which is why he didn't play any white-ball games (vs WI) after the World Cup. He will be a key factor for us as long as the World Test Championship continues. "Shami is the same and Ishant is a banker, always reliable. Umesh is there too and Navdeep is waiting in the wings. We are settled as our bowling options, but managing workloads will be important," Kohli said.