The Indian team is battling England in its own backyard in a five-match Test series. India is trailing 0-2 in the Test series, with the third Test match underway at Trent Bridge.
India has the upper hand in the Trent Bridge Test after England collapsed in a single session to hand India a big lead with the third day of the Test beginning on August 20. The squad for the remaining two Tests will be announced shortly and many of the performances in the previous Tests will be taken into consideration.
Keeping that in mind, Team COC brings to you the predicted India squad for the last two Tests of the England series.
With the team finally doing well in the Trent Bridge Test, India might not make many changes, but some glaring outcomes have been discovered in the Two Test matches played so far.
One of those outcomes is that M Vijay needs to go back to his basics and start leaving the ball more and more. He has been troubled by the moving ball time and again. Even if his failures in the first Test are ignored; Vijay getting a pair at Lord's was much more devastating to his already fragile reputation. He was rightly dropped in the third Test, as Shikhar Dhawan’s aggressive batting proved good for India.
In his place, India might blood in the young Prithvi Shaw who scored 188 against West Indies A in an FC match in England and had scores 132, 102 and 70 on India A’s tour to England recently. He also scored a century in the first unofficial Test against SA A. Having Shaw in the Indian squad will give him a feel of international cricket at a young age and given that he is a child prodigy, it will be a good experience for him.
Apart from that, India might give Hanuma Vihari who also had a good outing in England with India A. He scored 69, 147 in the List A games in England and a 148 against SA A in the FC game at Alur. Vihari is a compact batsman hailing from Andhra Pradesh and has a triple hundred in Ranji Trophy to his name. Given how fragile India’s middle was in the first two Tests, Vihari will be the best bet to provide some solidarity at no.5 to the team.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul put on two half-century partnerships in the third Test against England and Cheteshwar Pujara too showed some positive intent. Rahane found some much-needed form and runs when it came to his failures in the first two Tests.
Virat Kohli was unfortunate to miss out on a deserving hundred, as he was dismissed on 97. Karun Nair waits for his chance in the middle, but for now, Indian batsmen have actually found their form again.
The spin bowling options of R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kuldeep Yadav remain same and the quick bowling contingent also put their hands up with a surprise package of Hardik Pandya, who picked his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests in the 3rd Test match.
Dinesh Karthik reportedly suffered a finger injury and Rishabh Pant made his Test debut at Trent Bridge. That was the official reason given by the team management, but the news was that Karthik’s dismal performance with the bat in the four innings, including two ducks, played a big role in Pant’s debut at Nottingham.
Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, and a fit-again Jasprit Bumrah rattled the England batsmen and put them under pressure so that they were forced to go after Hardik Pandya to score runs and gifted their wickets away.
Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur are now relegated to waiting for another chance in the last Two Tests depending on the venues and pitches.
COC Predicted India squad for the final two Tests against England:
Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Karun Nair, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah