Nagpur: India skipper Rohit Sharma said they will be following the horses for courses policy for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against Australia and will not go with the same combination for each of the four home Tests.
The Indian team management and touring selector will be facing a selection dilemma with key player Rishabh Pant unavailable following a car accident and a bevy of exciting players lining up to get into the squad.
Pant’s absence creates a headache for the Indian team’s think tank as they have to decide on a few positions that have opened up — a middle-order spot and a wicketkeeper (they can combine that into one too).
Sharma said it was going to be a tough call for them to make as some of these players like Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav have been in tremendous form in the last few months in different formats.
“It is going to be a tough one. We know a lot of the guys are in good form, so it is a good sign for the team. When you have selection issues that say a lot about how the guys are performing, So, that is very crucial from the team’s perspective.
“What we have to do is we have to go to each venue, try and check the conditions and pick the best eleven. It is as simple as that and that is what we have done in the past and that is what we will do going forward. The message to the boys has been very clear. We are ready to play horses for courses. On whichever pitch, whoever we need we have to bring them in. As simple as that.
“That is something that we have spoken to the guys at the start of the series and we will continue to do that. We will have to
assess the conditions we are playing in, who are the right guys to counter that conditions, so we are quite open to all of the options,” Sharma told the media on Wednesday.
Pant has played a crucial role for India in the last couple of series, coming in at crucial times and playing aggressive innings in the middle order that has proved invaluable to the team. In his absence, who will they pick to fulfil the role?
“Rishab was a very, very important player for us, how he batted for us in the middle order in the past few years for us. We will definitely miss that. But yeah, we have got a few guys to come and do that job for us in the middle. Keeping an eye on that particular aspect, not the middle order, even the top order. You are playing on such challenging pitches, you need guys to stand up and see, find ways to score runs because it won’t be easy,” said the India skipper.
“We have seen it in the last few series when we played here (in India), orthodox cricket (needs) to be played as well. We have had a talk with all the batters to find their own ways of scoring runs, countering what there is to offer and all of that. Hopefully, tomorrow when we start the game, we can achieve all those things,” he added.
Asked who among Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav will be his choice for a spot in the playing XI considering that Gill has played some Test cricket while Yadav is yet to make his debut in the longer format, Rohit said they will consider all things before taking a call.
“Gill and Surya, they both bring different things to the table for us. Gill we all know has been in supreme form in the last 3-4 months. A couple of hundreds, big hundreds as well. On the other hand, Surya as well in T20 cricket has shown what he is capable of. That kind of game he can bring to Test cricket as well. So both are quality options. For us, we have not decided yet. We will keep in mind all aspects of the game. I need to have a final look at the pitch and when I do that
probably we’ll have someone in mind,” he said.