A team selection meeting after six series wins on the bounce should be an open-and-shut case unless there’s any injury concern. So MSK Prasad and his co-selectors have an easy ride, when they meet in Mumbai on Tuesday to pick the Indian Test squad likely for the first two matches against Australia. There’s no clarity, however, whether Mohd Shami figures in their scheme of things. The fast bowler hasn’t played any cricket after injuring his knee during the third Test against England at Mohali in November last year. The selectors are tight-lipped over his availability for the series that starts in Pune on February 23. Of late, the selection committee and the team management have had been maintaining a policy that an injured cricketer must play domestic cricket before returning to the national team fold.
Shami is not part of the East Zone squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and he hasn’t been included among the Bengal probables for the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy. A Bengal selector, however, said that Shami’s omission had nothing to do with the injury. “We didn’t pick him because we were unsure about his availability. He is an India player, and if he wants to play the Vijay Hazare Trophy he will join,” the selector told this paper.
It would be interesting to see if Kuldeep Yadav is retained. The Uttar Pradesh chinaman bowler was included in the 16-member squad for the one-off Test against Bangladesh after a knee injury had ruled out leggie Amit Mishra.