The new group of BCCI selectors announced the squad for the remaining three test matches against England and chose to omit both Delhi openers Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan and stuck with M Vijay and K Rahul.
Dhawan has recovered from a finger injury and based on reports from the BCCI, they want him to play a few domestic games, regain match fitness before being considered for selection. In a statement, a source from the BCCI said “We want him to have some more game time. He’s coming back from a finger injury, so let him play at least two matches, and then we can see where he stands in terms of fitness and form.”
While Dhawan has the assurance of a possible comeback, it might be the end for Gautam Gambhir as the veteran opener in now 35 years old and has made two successful attempts in recent years to get back into the Indian test team and cement his place as an opener but has not succeeded in both attempts. Gambhir’s first attempt was in England where he failed badly and looked completely out of form. His second attempt against England was a lot better with sub-continent conditions suiting the left handed opener.
However he wasn’t able to convert his starts into big scores and send a message to the selectors. This means that M Vijay and K Rahul can be assured of their place for the next 3 tests. M Vijay has had a poor run for a few matches and will want to notch up a big score in Mohali to ease the pressure. K Rahul is coming back from injury and also needs to perform to cement his place as the second opener and close the door to S Dhawan.
The selectors also chose to bring back B Kumar who has also recovered from injury. There is a possibility that he could play as the third seamer in Mohali as the pitch has a reputation for having something in it for the pacers. However it depends on Kumble and Kohli as they might want to stick with a winning combination and play the third spinner instead of the seamer.
England has confirmed that they will be dropping B Duckett who struggled against the spinners and replacing him with the more experienced J Butler for the Mohali test.