IND vs BAN: India grapple with selection dilemmas ahead of Bangladesh ODIs

The auditions for the next year’s ODI World Cup have started with the team management roping in some new faces alongside the experienced campaigners. India haven’t been able to win an ICC Trophy since 2013 (barring the Asia Cup) and the wait extended after they bowed out of the T20 World Cup following a thumping defeat to England.

The team did face a lot of heat on social media and from the fans.

But let bygones be bygones. It’s time for the unit to move on and focus on the big tournament scheduled to take place in India next year.

After the T20 World Cup was over, the Men in Blue travelled to New Zealand for a three-match T20I series and as many ODIs. The senior players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were rested from both the series while Hardik Pandya led the side in T20Is and Shikhar Dhawan donned the captain’s hat in ODIs.

The visitors clinched the T20I series while suffering a defeat in the ODI assignment. But not much could be made out of them as we could have had results only in one T20I and one ODI after the tour was marred with rain. Moving forward, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are back for the ODIs against Bangladesh.

On the other side, some new faces like Rajat Patidar and Kuldeep Sen have also travelled with the side to the neighbouring nation.

What’s in the kitty?

Well, the first answer to this is — a happy headache, especially in the batting department. The team management has three experienced batters in Rohit, Dhawan and KL to take the openers’ spot while Shreyas Iyer who has been in sublime form in ODIs is likely to take the number four position.

Now, if the team management wants to accommodate Rahul then Dhawan will have to sit out as the visitors are most likely to go in with six bowlers. Dhawan went in with five bowlers against New Zealand in the first ODI and it backfired, eventually resulting in India’s series loss.

Keeping KL in the XI might not really go well with the fans as the right-handed batter hasn’t really been in the greatest of forms in the recent past.

It would be interesting to see whether the management sticks to Rohit and KL or go back in time and hand the responsibility to one of the most successful duos of Sharma and Dhawan.

Variety in bowling unit

At present, the Indian bowling unit looks pretty stable despite Jasprit Bumrah and now Mohammed Shami missing out. Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik (who has replaced Shami) and Kuldeep Sen make the pace bowling department while Washington Sundar, Axar Patel and Shahbaz Ahmed are the three spinners.

While Chahar is a natural when it comes to swinging the ball, Siraj and Umran can rattle any opposition with their pace on a given day. Thakur has had a couple of disappointing outings recently but his knack for picking wickets at crucial stages is something that any team would vouch for.

The three spinners that have travelled with the side also bring a lot to the table. While they would be handy with the ball, all the three are good batters too. It would again be interesting to see whether the young lad Shahbaz gets a go or the coach and the captain give Axar another chance. Patel didn’t really have a good time at the World Cup though.

Sundar is in brilliant touch. He has the ability to bowl economical spells, pick crucial wickets and can chip in with runs at a brisk pace. At present, the six bowlers that might make it to the XI would be Chahar, Siraj, Shardul, Umran, Sundar and Axar.

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