The selectors are slated to announce the team for the next two Tests after the second Test ends in Chennai. The selectors may also announce the squad for the five-match T20I series that follows the Tests.
Shami had to come back from the Australia tour after he fractured his right arm during the first Test while Saini injured his groin in the last Test in Brisbane.
“Saini is currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. He has bowling at full tilt. The Delhi selectors wanted to have his services for the Vijay Hazare Trophy but Saini was asked to stay back at NCA as he is likely to join the team in Ahmedabad,” a BCCI source told TOI.
Shami resumed bowling 10 days ago and is close to attaining match fitness.
Selectors making ‘A’ pool of T20 reserves in World Cup year
It is also learnt that the selection committee is looking at forming a pool of T20 specialists from domestic cricket. This pool will be training with the Indian team and the NCA at different times.
“One must realise there has been no India ‘A’ tours in the last year and it is difficult to hold one in the near future. This is essentially the ‘A’ team,” the source said.
Players like Ishan Kishan, Nitish Rana and Sidharth Kaul will be part of the pool.
Ishan Kishan. (Getty Images)
“This is the reason they were asked to report to NCA for fitness tests. These players have been informed that they will be in standbys for the India T20I team. This is the reason why Rana wasn’t made the captain of the Delhi team for the Vijay Hazare tournament. These players could be called into Indian team anytime. They will be essentially appearing for trials,” the source added.
The same policy has been adopted for the likes of Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal, who have been regulars on ‘A’ tours in the last tour. They are still with the Indian Test team.
Pant likely to come back in limited-overs cricket
With Rishabh Pant striking form in Test cricket, the selectors are likely to bring him back into the white-ball scheme of things after he was dropped from the white-ball leg during the Australia tour, with Sanju Samson slipping down the ladder of preference.
Rishabh Pant. (Image credit: Pant’s Twitter handle)
The team management is also keen on trying out Suryakumar Yadav in T20Is. This could mean Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer could be rotated.