Kohli, Ishant, Ashwin to prove fitness: Test squad selection postponed

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 27, 2018 13:40 hrs
virat kohli

India skipper Virat Kohli, who was rested for the ongoing Asia Cup, may have to prove his fitness ahead of the home series against West Indies, starting on October 4.

Media reports say that he is likely to take the yo-yo Test on September 28, after which the selectors will name Test squad for the Windies Tests. Yo-yo test has been made mandatory by the BCCI and all the players have to go through the process before selection.

India vs West Indies - Complete Schedule

In the past, players have missed out on selection after failing the yo-yo test. Head coach Ravi Shastri had once said that there will be no leniency as far as fitness standards are concerned.

Kohli has had problems with his back which flared up again in England during the second Test at Lord's.

“Yesterday and today, it wasn’t great. The back can be very tricky when it goes off. It happened in the latter half or the last leg of the South Africa tour when I missed a T20 game. That was very sudden, it happened a day before (the game),” Kohli had then told reporters after India's defeat by an innings and 159 runs in the 2nd Test against England.

Players have to score 16.1 in the test in order to be considered fit for selection.

Meanwhile, India pacer Ishant Sharma and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin too will undergo fitness tests on Saturday before the selectors take a final call on their availability for the upcoming two-Test series.

"Ashwin is already doing his rehabilitation at the NCA for groin injury. Even Ishant is expected to join him there. As of now, there is a fitness test scheduled on Saturday, September 29. The selectors may announce the team a day earlier if NCA physios and trainers rule the duo out even before fitness tests," media reports quoted a senior BCCI official.

Selection committee chairman MSK Prasad and his colleague Devang Gandhi met at a Delhi hotel on Wednesday to draw up an initial list for the Test series after the scheduled selection meeting was cancelled.

As per documents, the BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary had issued a notice about West Indies Test series squad selection being on the agenda for Wednesday but the meeting was later cancelled.

"It was scheduled earlier but the five selectors' itinerary was clashing as one (Sarandeep Singh) is in Dubai while two others (Jatin Paranjpe and Gagan Khoda) are watching Vijay Hazare Trophy at different venues. So it was decided that this will be an informal meeting where the selectors will take stock of the situation," the official added.

"The selection committee's aim is to have a team for the series that will be a mirror image of the squad that will travel to Australia. May be two more players to the 15 for the Tests will be added when the team travels Down Under," said the official.

As of now, Shikhar Dhawan, despite his poor returns from England Tests, remains team management's favourite to continue. It will be a challenge for the selectors to push Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal's case.

In case Ashwin is ruled out, team management's preferred choice is Yuzvendra Chahal. The wiry Haryana leg-spinner is someone who still needs a lot of games to be ready for top-flight red ball

A source close to the team management said that the West Indies can be a good launch pad in Test cricket for Chahal and a good performance will enhance his case for his selection for Australia tour. However, if Ashwin is declared fit, Chahal might have to wait.

The Test series between India and West Indies is slated to begin on October 4 in Rajkot. The second Test of the series will be played in Hyderabad from October 12. A five-match one-day series and three-match T20I series will take place after the Test series.

With Agency Inputs

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