The Indian Test side is currently in South Africa preparing for their upcoming three-match series against the Proteas. There is no doubt that captain Virat Kohli and head coach Rahul Dravid will have to take some tough calls in order to find the right combination for the series opener, starting December 26 in Centurion.
With the absence of Rohit Sharma, who was ruled out due to a hamstring injury, there is no brainier that KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are most likely to be the openers. Although, deciding the middle-order will be challenging as Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari will give tough competition to Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.
Similarly, in the bowling department, the visitors will face a problem of plenty. Whether India will go with ‘three pace and two spin’ combinations or ‘four pace and one spin’ group or even bring the five pacers, the Kohli-Dravid duo will definitely face some heat deciding the perfect bowling set-up for the first Test.
However, former BCCI’s chairman of selectors MSK Prasad has shared his views on the same and picked the ideal bowling combination. Prasad has, in fact, named four such players he thinks are confirmed to play the opening Test.
Prasad picked four bowlers that, according to him, will definitely play the Boxing-Day Test. The former India international went with Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj. He reckoned that Siraj would get preference over Ishant Sharma, considering the Hyderabadi pacer’s current form.
“Four bowlers in this line-up are now confirmed if all fit – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj. I don’t think Ishant will be considered ahead of Siraj on the current form,” Prasad told PTI.
Prasad also gave his thoughts on adding an extra bowler apart from the already mentioned bowling combination. He picked Shardul Thakur as his choice if the tourists decide to go with five bowlers.
“I think Shardul Thakur is the best choice if they go in with five bowlers as he also gives the option of a steady No.7 batter, and we also have Ravichandran Ashwin,” Prasad added.