After registering a thumping win against Windies in the first Test, Team India has the chance to experiment a bit and test their bench strength for the second Test.
With a few fresh faces in the squad, the temptation will be there for the team management to check their mettle. But for this to happen a few senior players will have to sit out. In this scenario what will be India’s playing XI for the Hyderabad Test that begins on October 12?
With the all important Australia Test series in sight, India will want all their opening batsmen to have some game practice. Currently India are looking at three players, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal.
India have trusted Rahul as the team’s senior opener and hence he will make it to the final XI and so will Prithvi Shaw courtesy of his century in previous Test. Then where does Mayank Agarwal, the third opener fit in?
Cheteshwar Pujara could be rested to accommodate Agarwal at number three spot.
Vihari’s inclusion in the Indian team depends on whether India play five bowlers or four bowlers. The option of four bowlers gives the team the space to have six batsmen, something which Kohli has rarely tried in Tests.
But again the question is, if not now then when? And hence Kohli could bring in Vihari as the six batsman. Also if the team rests Pujara then the skipper might want six batsmen to ensure there is enough strength in the batting order.
Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav were brilliant in the first Test but team management might want to give Shami some rest as he played the England series as well and give Siraj his Test debut.
India’s probable playing XI- KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Hanuma Vihari/ Kuldeep Yadav