Kohli's availability in focus as selectors meet to pick squad for Bangladesh series

The selection committee will meet on Thursday to decide on India squad for Bangladesh tour featuring two Tests and three T20Is.

Virat Kohli, who has been playing continuously since the World Cup, may skip the Bangladesh T20Is to avoid burnout.

Virat Kohli, who has been playing continuously since the World Cup, may skip the Bangladesh T20Is to avoid burnout.   -  Getty Images

All eyes will be on captain Virat Kohli when the national selection committee meets at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters on Thursday to pick the India squad for the three T20Is against Bangladesh.

In their last assignment, the five wise men will also choose the side for the two-match Test series, though no major change is expected there.

High on confidence after a clean sweep against South Africa in the just-concluded three-match Test series, the Indian line-up looks settled. However, concerns remain regarding the availability of Wriddhiman Saha. The stumper hurt his finger during the third Test in Ranchi and back-up keeper Rishabh Pant had to step in for a while. Though the team management is confident about Saha’s availability for the series, it needs to be seen whether he recovers well in time.

Another riddle for the selectors will be the selection of Kuldeep Yadav. The spinner, who warmed the bench for the entire South Africa series, complained of a shoulder pain, for which he was replaced by Shahbaz Nadeem in the third Test.

With Nadeem too proving effective in spin-friendly conditions, it needs to be seen whether the selectors will be keen on giving him a longer rope.

That apart, not much change is likely in the Test set-up.

READ: Bangladesh cricketers go on strike, India tour under threat

Recently, some of the media reports suggested that Kohli — who has been playing continuously since the World Cup — may skip the T20Is to avoid burnout. While it is believed that Kohli is keen on playing the entire series, a lot would depend on his workload and also on the selectors.

The T20Is, on the other hand, have enough ingredients to be a spicy affair.

Recently, some of the media reports suggested that Kohli — who has been playing continuously since the World Cup — may skip the T20Is to avoid burnout. But it is believed that Kohli is keen on playing the entire series, however, a lot would depend on his workload and also on the selectors.

Another key factor is the availability of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- who hasn’t donned the India colours since the World Cup, and there is no clarity over his future.

And now, with Sourav Ganguly taking charge as the president of the BCCI, he is expected to speak to the selection committee and most importantly with captain Kohli about Dhoni’s future. And that would decide the future course of action.

Though there is a buzz that Dhoni may feature in the T20Is against Bangladesh, it looks unlikely as he has been out of the touch for a while now.

Bangladesh is scheduled to play three T20Is, starting from November 3, followed by a couple of Tests. But the strike by Bangladesh cricketers have put a question mark over the series.

The BCCI, however, is confident that the series will go on as per schedule.