As India beat England by 106 runs in Visakhapatnam to level the series 1-1, the two teams now disperse for a 10-day break before assembling back in Rajkot for the third Test of the series. While England will head to the UAE for a preparatory camp, some key decisions will be taken regarding the future of some of the Indian players in the series. There is a 10-day gap between the 2nd and 3rd Test and the belief is the look of the squad that will feature in the next three Tests may be different to the first two.
The fact that Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar were spotted having a rather long and animated chat near the boundary line after India beat England implies the same. The India captain and the BCCI chairman of selectors were seen engaging in an intense exchange, possibly discussing the road ahead. India’s squad was depleted to a certain extent. With no Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in Vizag, it’s an incredible effort from this young-looking unit to win the game inside four days.
But given how England challenged India in every step of the way is likely to serve as an eye-opener that this series may not be like the many in the past in which India have steamrolled oppositions. Inspired by Bazball, England had India playing catch up several times across the first two Tests, a slide the team management, Rohit, Agarkar and coach Rahul Dravid would be keen to arrest.
And hence, the discussion immediately post-match indicates that India are wasting no time in putting together the squad for the next three Tests, which is likely to be announced this week itself. What is the nature of Jadeja’s injury? Will Kohli return? If yes, who goes out? Will KS Bharat retain his place in the 15? All these questions will be answered shortly.
Watch Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar’s chat below:
As the visuals of Rohit and Agarkar caused quite the stir, former England captain Kevin Pietersen reckoned the chat was about finding a way to somehow get Kohli back in the scheme of things. Kohli opted out of the first two Tests citing personal reasons, which AB de Villiers revealed was him about to become a father for the second time, but Pietersen said his absence was felt in both Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.
“They are trying hard to get Virat Kohli to come back because the series is missing him,” Kevin Pietersen said about the exchange,” he told the official broadcasters.
What to expect from Rajkot Test
Even Rahul Dravid was seen having an animated chat with Shreyas Iyer in the dressing room after the game. Could all be a sign of things to come? Former India speedster Zaheer Khan thinks so. There are also talks about the possibility of India resting Jasprit Bumrah from the next Test for a returning Mohammed Siraj, a call that would be highly debatable. Bumrah was adjudged Player of the Match – ahead of two Indian centurions – for his match-haul of 9/91 and considering how the rest of the bowlers fared, giving Bumrah a break when the series is at level pecking could be a questionable throw of the dice.
“Expect some changes for sure, judging by what you can see here. Ravindra Jadeja’s fitness, KL Rahul’s fitness… will they be back or not? Whether Virat Kohli will be back or not. Mohammed Siraj for sure will come back. But from this squad, who are the guys that will be going out in terms of workload management, rest, recovery looking at the venues. So yeah, plenty of talk about and there’s a lot going on in front of your screen as well. And that’s what you’ll see Rahul Dravid talking to Shreyas Iyer,” mentioned Zaheer.