India have a few issues to fix ahead of their third Test against England in Rajkot. KL Rahul has been ruled out and there are uncertainties surrounding Ravindra Jadeja’s fitness and availability for the game. There are a few crucial decisions to be made concerning the composition of their bowling attack, their keeper and even the look of their middle-order.

Here we take a look at the 3 major selection questions ahead of the third Test: 

3. Will Sarfaraz Khan make a debut?

Sarfaraz Khan Ranji Trophy 2024.
Sarfaraz Khan Ranji Trophy 2024. (Photo Source: Twitter/@imRohit_SN)

With KL Rahul being ruled out, it is expected that Sarfaraz Khan will be making his debut considering the fact that he has been a prolific run-scorer in the domestic setup and can also play spinners very well. 

However, the selectors have also included Devdutt Padikkal as KL Rahul’s replacement. The left-hander batter has been in roaring form in domestic cricket with big scores of 193, 103, 151. He was impressive against the England Lions as well with scores of 105, 65 and 2. This is a big decision that the selectors will have to make for the Rajkot Test.

2. What happens with the spin contingent?

Axar Patel & Kuldeep Yadav.
Axar Patel & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

If Ravindra Jadeja is fit, he will be be part of the playing XI and this would then raise questions of a third spinner. Axar Patel or left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav – this is a decision that the management needs to make. Kuldeep was solid in the second Test, but Axar has been very handy with the bat in the lower middle order. 

However, if Jadeja is not fit enough to play, India could stick with Kuldeep, Axar, and Ravichandran Ashwin as the three spinners. 

1. Dhruv Jurel or KS Bharat?

Dhruv Jurel & KS Bharat.
Dhruv Jurel & KS Bharat. (Photo Source: Twitter)

KS Bharat has not been able to nail down the spot of the wicketkeeper-batter in the Test side. In his seven matches so far, he has scored only 221 runs at an average of 20.09, failing to register a single half-century. 

India’s batting has generally struggled and hence, Dhruv Jurel could earn his India cap on Thursday, February 15. He has an impressive first-class record – In 15 matches he has scored 790 runs at an average of 46.67, including a century and five fifties. He has also scored half-centuries against the England Lions in January and South Africa A in December. 

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