India secured a commanding 106-run victory over England in the second Test, drawing the series level at 1-1 in Visakhapatnam on February 5. The hosts set a challenging target of 399 runs for England, who began the day requiring 332 runs with nine wickets in hand. However, the Indian bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah (3/46) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3/72) dismantled the English batting lineup, bundling them out for 292.
Following the emphatic win, India captain Rohit Sharma was spotted engaged in a lengthy discussion with Chairman of Selectors Ajit Agarkar, presumably deliberating over the squad selection for the remaining three Tests. While the squad for the first two matches had been announced, anticipation surrounds the forthcoming announcement for the subsequent fixtures.
A key focus for the upcoming matches will be the potential return of star batsman Virat Kohli, who had missed the initial Tests due to undisclosed personal reasons. However, there has been no confirmation regarding Kohli’s availability, with head coach Rahul Dravid stating that the board is yet to establish contact with him.
Speculation about Kohli’s absence has been fueled by revelations from former South African cricketer AB de Villiers, who disclosed that Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their second child. Nonetheless, the celebrity couple has not officially confirmed the news.
Long discussion between Captain & chief selector after the 2nd Test.
– Important selection coming for the last 3 Tests. pic.twitter.com/j5p9vQ6lR2
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 5, 2024
Additionally, discussions will revolve around the comeback of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul, both of whom sustained injuries after the series opener. While Jadeja suffered a hamstring injury during Day 4 of the first Test, Rahul reported right quadriceps pain.
Rahul was rested for the second Test as a precautionary measure, given his significance in the team’s batting lineup. On the other hand, Jadeja’s recovery timeline remains uncertain, casting doubt on his availability for the latter part of the series.
In addition to these considerations, the potential reinstatement of Mohammed Siraj, who was released from the squad for the second Test to manage his workload, remains a point of interest. Furthermore, the performances of KS Bharat and Shreyas Iyer, who underperformed in the previous match, will be closely scrutinized for their retention in the upcoming fixtures.