Middle-Order (Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk))
After the legendary Rahul Dravid, the second wall of Indian cricket is Cheteshwar Pujara. He is a rock-solid number 3 batsman and is already in the groove after playing in the ongoing County Championship for Yorkshire.
However he should make sure that he does not give away his wicket while because of his poor running. In the previous Test against South Africa, he was run-out twice in a single Test and will have to mend his way this time around.
KL Rahul is coming into the squad for the number 4 slot and in place of injured Virat Kohli. His performance in this Test will decide if he can make it to the England tour.
Although he would be India’s backup opener in the England tour, in this Test the management would hope that his current form continues and he helps his team to post big total on the board.
Rahane will have to carry some extra responsibility in this Test. Apart from having Kohli in the team, he has proved to be one of the best batsmen in the current Indian side because of his calm attitude which is needed in the longer format.
Moreover the right-handed batsman has proved his mettle as a captain when the Indian team under Rahane’s captaincy defeated the mighty Aussies in Dharamsala.
Dinesh Karthik comeback has been a wonderful story and it reached a full circle when he was slotted in for the Test match. Karthik will have to put in an extra effort to cement his position.
Although Wriddhiman Saha would come back to the team after he becomes fully fit, yet Karthik has to do well in the Afghan match to travel to England at least as a backup wicketkeeper.