Team India are currently going down in the second Test at Perth. In order to win the Test, they need to score 175 runs but has only 5 wickets in hand. However at the end of Day 4, they received both good and bad news.
The good news is that all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be joining the squad for the last two Tests of the four-match series. Pandya had proved his fitness in the Ranji game against Mumbai.
After the drawn game in Wankhede Stadium, Baroda skipper Kedar Devdhar spoke to media. He was quoted by the Times of India saying, “He’s (Hardik) not available for our next game, as he’s going to Australia.”
Hardik chose the Ranji game ahead of the One-Dayers against New Zealand. He made an excellent comeback by picking a five-wicket haul and scoring a brilliant half-century for Baroda.
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Replacement for Prithvi announced
On the other hand the bad news is that young opener Prithvi Shaw is ruled out of the entire Australia Test series. He got injured in the practice game and was expected to return in the Boxing Day Test.
He will most probably fly back to India now. Reports from ESPNCricinfo has suggested that Mayank Agarwal has been as the replacement in the Test squad.
Agarwal was included in the squad against the Windies too. However he didn’t feature in any of the games. Mayank was one of the top performers for India A who recently toured New Zealand, and he definitely deserves a chance.
Change in the team combination
India’s top order in the likes of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul has disappointed so far.One of them will definitely sit out in the third Test and it will be interesting to see who is the unlucky one.
India also has Parthiv Patel in the squad, who can also open the innings. The management might not want to put a huge pressure on Agarwal on his international debut. In that case Vijay and Parthiv would open, based on recent performance.
On the other hand, 25-year-old Pandya will definitely walk into the playing XI. His inclusion will add balance to the squad and strengthen the lower order.
India might go in with five specialist batsmen in presence of Hardik. In that case Hanuma Vihari would be the unlucky one to sit out.
However so far Vihari hasn’t done anything wrong in the two innings as a batsman or as part-time bowler. Thus India definitely have a tough choice at hand before the Boxing Day Test begins.