With less than three weeks to the Asian Cup, the Indian coaches will have quite a headache when they sit down for the team's selection on Saturday. As India continues its strenuous tour of England, the workload of the main players along with the middle order enigma will be some serious questions that the selection committee will encounter. The workload of the Virat Kohli skipper will be a priority, although it is unlikely that the selectors will rest any of the veteran players as India will play against archrival Pakistan at least two or three times if the two teams reach the final in the next tournament. .
Kohli has had problems with his back and with six other Test matches lined up over the next three months (two against the Antilles and four against Australia), the selectors will be cautious while monitoring Kohli's workload. There is nothing to suggest that Kohli will be excluded from the tournament, but if he does, then Rohit Sharma will lead the team.
The other concern will be to fix the problems of medium order. While Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are selecting themselves, KL Rahul will remain a reserve opener or one down depending on the situation of the team.
However, it is the two slot machines after Kohli that are an apple of contention to enter the World Cup next year. Manish Pandey had an indifferent career with the senior team, but the Quadrangular series saw him roar again to form. He took India B to the title with 306 runs in four games without being fired once.
Ambati Rayudu has passed the YoYo test and scored some races for India A. Kedar Jadhav is also fit and his slow breaks could be an advantage in the tracks of the United Arab Emirates.
The coaches will also find it difficult to ignore Mayank Agarwal's legitimate claim for a spot on the team after scoring loaded racing trucks for Karnataka and India A. It has been a huge success in all formats, but with Dhawan, Rohit and Rahul as starters, he will. It will be difficult for the selectors to locate Agarwal unless they decide to rest in Dhawan.
But there is a possibility that if you ignore Agarwal for the Asian Cup, play against the Antilles at home, where some seniors will surely rest.
The bowling department will have Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah leading the attack with Shardul Thakur and Siddarth Kaul fighting for the reserve position along with Umesh Yadav. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps, there are chances that the young Rishabh Pant, who has been much safer than Dinesh Karthik, will do so as a substitute for Dhoni.
(With PTI entries)