New Delhi: The focus will be on pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah's fitness status as the current selection committee will have its final meeting on Monday to pick teams for three T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka and as many ODIs against Australia.
Bumrah, who recently bowled at the India nets, is fit for competitive cricket and could be picked for either the T20 series against Sri Lanka beginning on 5 January or the ODI series against a full-strength Australian side starting on 14 January.
"The team for both series will be picked on Monday afternoon in Delhi. The selectors will pick teams for both series. In all likelihood, this will be the last selection meeting chaired by MSK Prasad," a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
MSK Prasad and his Central Zone colleague Gagan Khoda will have their tenure finished and a new chairman of selector along with a panel member is expected to be announced at the start of the new year. Jatin Paranjpe, Sarandeep Singh and Dewang Gandhi are likely to continue.
It is more likely that Australia series will mark Bumrah's return to competitive cricket after four months, having recovered from stress fracture.
However, since Bumrah didn't do his rehabilitation at the BCCI's National Cricket Academy (NCA), he was asked by NCA director Rahul Dravid to get his clearance from where he spent in his recovery time.
"In case of Bumrah, Indian team physio Nitin Patel and trainer Nick Webb checked him in Visakhapatnam (earlier this week). He bowled full tilt over there. Since Australia series starts on January 14, he could just play a Ranji game and get some overs under his belt. In any case, it will also depend on how Virat (Kohli) looks at it," the source said.
Kohli is expected to join via video conference.
Deepak Chahar's fitness will be a cause of concern as he was ruled out of the third ODI against the West Indies.
Shikhar Dhawan is also returning to full fitness but might have to play some domestic cricket to get back into the groove.
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After five days of intense Test cricket, the two teams cannot be separated as India pull off something similar to a heist, if the term can be applied in the context of a draw. Five days of facing Smith and Labuschagne’s brilliance with the bat, the pace trio and Lyon bowling as sharply as ever and some hostilities from the crowd, in addition to the spate of injuries and the absence of their talismanic regular captain. If the Gill-Rohit opening stand gave the early impetus, it was the surreal counter-attack by Pant and Pujara that truly turned things around today, with Vihari and Ashwin’s stonewalling efforts in the end while battling physical discomfort the cherry on the cake.India will look to carry the momentum over to the Gabba, a venue that is considered Australia’s fortress, with the series still level 1-1. Given the way Rahane and Co have fought back after the 36 all out debacle, they’ll certainly hope to end the tour on a high. For now, it’s time for me to sign off on behalf of my colleague Shubham!
“It’s really heartening to see how Indian fast bowlers have performed in this series. Jasprit Bumrah has led the pace attack really well in the absence of Ishant and Shami. Siraj has adjusted at the international level admirably, which shows the kind of talent that is coming up and pushing the senior guys,” Zaheer said.
The jibes were directed at pacers Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah on the third and fourth days of the match and six fans were thrown out of the stadium after the Indian team complained to the umpires.