After a historic series win Down Under, the men-in-yellow will look for redemption as they touch the Indian soil in days’ time. The two teams will be locking horns for a two T20 Internationals, followed by five-match ODI series. The first game of the bilateral series is scheduled to start on 24th February at Vishakhapatnam. The upcoming series will also be India’s last International assignment before the most prestigious event of the year – World Cup.
Keeping forthcoming in mind, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to rest some senior players. As part of its heavy rotation policy, BCCI might take some big calls to rest Rohit Sharma and give one last opportunity to either KL Rahul or Ajinkya Rahane. With almost every permutation and combination tried in last year and a half, there are still some slots left to be grabbed, one of them turns out to be – reserve opener.
Reportedly, the BCCI selectors will meet on Friday (15th February) in Mumbai to announce the 15 member squad, and workload management will be the main thought before announcing the squad.
"Workload management of the senior players will definitely be the main area of discussion as we all know that the Indians have been on the road and the selectors and team management have made a conscious effort to ensure that the players get ample rest between games and series. Like you saw, regular skipper Virat Kohli was rested for the back end of the New Zealand series. You might see Rohit Sharma rested for some games here,” a BCCI source said.
He further said that it will be important to have a strong squad against Australia as the team doesn’t wish to keep a pedal wrong to ensure Australians don’t get the momentum ahead of the World Cup. "But it is also important to note that the Indians would want to keep the foot on the pedal and ensure that they don't give the Australians any momentum going into the World Cup. A good series against India would mean a confidence booster for the team. So, there has to be a balance so that the composition of the team is not affected," he explained.
It will be interesting to see whether the players who get the opportunity against Australia are able to deliver. If they do, the BCCI will have a good headache prior to the World Cup.
Probable 15-member Squad:
Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane / Rishabh Pant, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul / Mohammad Siraj.