Following a heartbreaking loss in the first Test against England in Hyderabad, Team India’s problems have been multiplied as all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and batsman KL Rahul were ruled out due to injuries.
While Jadeja picked up a hamstring injury, Rahul complained of quadriceps pain. Moreover, star batsman Virat Kohli will not play the second Test also as he has earlier announced to withdraw from the first two tests due to personal reasons.
The situation will force captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid scratch their head to find the replacement of Kohli and Jadeja in the second Test to be played in Visakhapatnam on February 2.
With no option available, Shreyas Iyer might be elevated to play in Kohli’s No.4 role. India would trust the batter to play to his strength against the spinners.
Another problem for India is promising batsman Shubman Gill’s dismal form in red ball cricket. Gill has not even scored a fifty in the last 11 innings. With India lacking options, Gill will probably have one last go in the Vizag Test. If he fails, Gill might have to make way for Rahul and Kohli, who will be back for the third match.
Meanwhile, prolific domestic batter Sarfaraz Khan’s long wait has come to an end as he has been included in the Indian team. He is currently in top form and India will like to cash in his form. However, Rajat Patidar is likely to be the first-choice batsman as he was announced as Kohli’s replacement ahead of the first Test.
However, if India opt to go the England way and pick just one fast bowler then both Sarfaraz and Patidar will make the cut.
World No.1 all-rounder Jadeja’s injury is a huge loss to India. Kuldeep Yadav could be a straight swap, as he was the spare spinner in the squad. However, if India want to keep their batting depth intact, they could go with spin all-rounder Washington Sundar.