India’s pink-ball conundrum: Kuldeep, Hardik, Siraj or Sundar?


Test selections are never easy. You have to pick a team not only for the conditions at hand on the first day but what you anticipate to happen over the five full days. You also have to provide for losing the toss. You might, for instance in the second Chennai Test, expect that one fast bowler is plenty for the best part of the Test, but you still have to pick two to provide for losing the toss even if that means you are practically playing 10 players for all but two of the sessions.

Add to all this the uncertainty a day-night Test brings where the conditions can be a bit of a lottery. There might be dew one night but not another. Captains have a tough task of covering all bases when they hand over their XI to the match referee. It is a sign of India’s strength that they need to debate only one place going into the day-night Test starting Wednesday in Ahmedabad. And that is the place occupied by Kuldeep Yadav in Chennai.

The other expected change is Jasprit Bumrah’s return into the XI in Mohammed Siraj’s place. The five batsmen who played in Chennai, Rishabh Pant as wicketkeeper and R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma and Bumrah are certainties subject to last-minute fitness issues. Here are the options India have for the 11th spot. All of them have a reasonable case for selection.


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