An unfortunate injury to Wriddhiman Saha has come up with a golden opportunity for Dinesh Karthik to make amends of his Test career against Afghanistan last month. And now it is learnt that the wicketkeeper-batsman might stay back in England for the 5-day game, slated to start on August 1 at Edgbaston.
As per the reports in Times of India, Karthik will continue to be preferred over Saha, who is unlikely to be fit in time for the first Test. Saha’s broken thumb has put him out of commission for the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Bengaluru.
Having made his return to India’s limited-overs squad in October 2017, Karthik has done a fairly good job in the lower middle order. He became an overnight star after his last-ball six against Bangladesh that helped India clinch the Nidahas T20I tri-series in March.
Given that Karthik has played an instrumental role in India’s Test series win on English soil back in 2007, he can certainly prove to be a key figure on this tour as well.
Besides Karthik, India speedster Mohammad Shami also passed the obligatory Yo-Yo fitness test last week and is waiting to board the flight to England once the Test team is announced.
Shami was one of the stars of Indian bowling attack that had taken 60 wickets during the three-match Test series against South Africa earlier this year. The 28-year-old had scalped 15 wickets in that series at an incredible average of 17.06. He was instrumental in India’s victory in the third Test at Wanderers. Owing to Shami’s 5 for 28, India had won the Wanderers Test by 63 runs.
Reports also suggest that pacer Jasprit Bumrah is still struggling to be fit in time for the first Test and "there's a good chance that he might have to miss it".
Nevertheless, Bumrah will continue to remain in the scheme of things and is certain to find his place back in the eleven once he's back to full fitness.
(With TOI inputs)