Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
New Delhi: The fifth and final Test of the series between India and England is scheduled to start on August 15, at The Oval. But before it starts, the major challenge in front of Indian skipper, MS Dhoni, would be to select the playing XI.
In last two Tests, Indian team struggled in each department and looked vulnerable. If Indian batsmen are struggling to convert their starts then Indian bowling is looking toothless.
Dhoni has already been facing criticism from some quarters for his team selection and combination. But before the final Test of the series, Dhoni would be in a fix, as he has to select his final XI from the players who are totally off-colour.
For the Oval Test, most probably, Dhoni would like to go with one genuine spinner, which could be a straight fight between Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin. While Jadeja hasn`t done anything noteworthy with the ball, thus far, Ashwin too failed to impress in the fourth Test in Manchester. Will Dhoni once again pick Jadeja over Ashwin? or this time it would be the other way round. Time will tell.
Unlucky speedster Pankaj Singh and Mohammed Shami will also fight for a place in the playing XI. Though, Singh bowled well in patches, he wasn`t able to provide the breakthroughs when India needed them the most. And chances are high that Mahi might pick the more experienced and aggressive pacer Shami over Singh.
Another difficult decision for Dhoni would be to choose between the two Delhi openers – Shikhar Dhawan and Gautam Gambhir. If Dhawan has flopped in the his last six innings of the tour, then, reserve opener Gambhir also failed to prove a point in the both the innings at Manchester, where he struggled to cope with the steep bounce.
So before the final Test starts, Dhoni has to take some tough decisions regarding his playing XI.