It is not gonna be easy for the selector’s as the Indian cricket team squad for the five-Test series against England was announced and the thing that amazed people and grabbed attention was its incomparable size. Make no mistake the size of the team is far greater than ’19 (or 18 if you go by BCCI’s press note). The 19th member, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is said to have “ aggravated a lower lack back condition during the third ODI” and call on inclusion will be made soon, says the release. In all probability, he should be fit well before the series runs its course.
Be that as it may, it is now very evident that the Indian team has several injury issues, especially with its fast blowers. Besides Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah is also injured, with the BCCI release stating that he would be available from the second test onwards. Then there is Mohammed Shami who has not played competitive cricket for months together. He scarcely played the IPL and given his turbulent personal issues his mental frame of mind could hardly be ideal for tough Tests.
Thus India would have just three fast bowlers in fine fettle for the first Test – Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, and Shardul Thakur provided none of them break down before the start of the match on 1 August. India’s injury woes provide England a golden opportunity to lay an ambush and with a fully rested James Anderson and Stuart Broad at their command.
It is good that six of the players, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma and Murali Vijay have been getting plenty of match practice with Duke Ball either through English Country or India A tour matches these past few weeks