India vs England: Gautam Gambhir's selection hope relies on KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan fitness reports

Gambhir scored a half century in comeback Test against New Zealand in Indore.

Updated: Nov 02, 2016, 11:08 AM IST
India vs England: Gautam Gambhir's selection hope relies on KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan fitness reports

New Delhi: There was an uproar amongst fans when BCCI overlooked Gautam Gambhir for the 3-Test New Zealand series despite his impressive performance in the Duleep Trophy.

Shikhar Dhawan was then picked in favour of Gambhir but his performance in the only match he played before getting injured even attracted more criticism for the BCCI selection panel.

Dhawan, whose medical reports will be examined by the BCCI before squad announcement, still looks to be selected as the reserve opener, deputee to Murali Vijay and KL Rahul, who will most likely feature in the final XI barring any fitness issues.

Rahul, who also was ruled out of the 2nd and 3rd Test against New Zealand, suffered a hamstring injury back in September and has not since returned to action. Though he deserves a place in the squad, but selectors would not want to gamble and will pick him only after getting an all-clear report.

Shikhar Dhawan, who fractured his left thumb while facing Trent Boult in 2nd Test against the Kiwis in Kolkata, saw Gautam Gambhir take his place in 3rd Test.

With form against Dhawan's selection, even a minor fitness issue will probably see selectors recalling Gautam Gambhir, who scored a half century on his comeback Test in Indore.

Another name that is most likely to make a comeback in the England Test series is Ishant Sharma, who has already proved his fitness by bowling 62 overs in Ranji Trophy matches against Karnataka and Orissa.

If it wasn't for Chikangunya, Sharma would have been a mainstay in all three Tests between India and New Zealand.

Amit Mishra's heroics in ODIs will push R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja even further as India might be interested in fielding 3 mainstream spinners if not all but a few Tests against England, who struggled massively against slow bowling in the recently concluded Bangladesh series.