International cricket saw a triumphed return after the Coronavirus pandemic as West Indies defeated England in the first of the three-Test series at Southampton. Both the teams playing some amazing cricket was a sight for sore eyes and showed that the game can be played safely despite the threat of the virus.
However, a bigger, more intense rivalry will be renewed in December of this year, when India travels to Australia for a series of four Tests and six limited-overs matches. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the tour was happening and that it will consist of a much-awaited day-night Test with the pink ball between the two sides.
The series will be played under the revised rules laid down by the ICC due to the COVID-19 rules which include an extended playing squad along with reserve players. Therefore the Team COC presents to you the Team India squad for the four-Test series down under.
The squad is of 18 main and 7 reserve players given the need for extra men as COVID replacements during a match.
The main squad will consist of the usual suspects with Prithvi Shaw, Rohit Sharma, and Mayank Agarwal being the three openers. All three have done well in the chances they have gotten, but it seems Agarwal and Rohit might be the first choice openers for the team management.
Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, and Shubman Gill are the variable options in the middle order which has served the Indian team for so long with much success. Pujara, Kohli and Rahane are probably the confirmed batsmen in the middle order with Gill and Vihari vying for the remaining one place.
Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha might be competing for the wicketkeeper’s spot. Though Saha is the better keeper of the two, Pant has the better batting abilities and scored a century at the SCG the last time India toured and won the series down under.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja might be the preferred spinning options with Kuldeep Yadav trying to stake a claim for a spot himself.
The Indian fast bowling unit had made quite an impression the last time India traveled to Australia and this time also Shami, Bumrah, Ishant and Umesh Yadav are expected to do better given that Australia will possess the services of Steve Smith and David Warner this time around.
Navdeep Saini may be chosen as the backup fast bowler to this well-oiled and skilled quick bowling unit.
Given the COVID-19 situation everywhere, the ICC has mandated that extra players must also be named in the touring party as like-to-like replacements if needed during the match.
KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer might be the picks when it comes to batting department with Hardik Pandya being the backup for the all-rounder’s spot. The talented Kona Srikar Bharat may be picked as the backup keeper for Pant and Saha in case the need arises.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat can be picked as backup fast bowlers, while Shahbaz Nadeem may be brought in as the replacement spinner if needed.
COC Predicted Team India squad (Main):
Prithvi Shaw, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (WK), Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav
Predicted Reserve players:
KL Rahul, Kona Srikar Bharat (WK), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Hardik Pandya, Shreyas Iyer, Jaydev Unadkat