Pragyan Ojha is likely to be ignored for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies starting November 6 in Kolkata when the national selectors meet today in Nagpur to pick the Indian squad.
Chances of the left-arm spinner not getting picked are very high, as left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja is set to feature in the playing XI. Sandeep Patil & Co might prefer to include leg-spinner Amit Mishra instead of Ojha, who claimed 27 wickets in the last two Test series against England and Australia.
Mishra last played a Test in 2011 against England at The Oval. The Haryana spinner was one of the star performers during the Zimbabwe tour in July-August, claiming 18 wickets in the 5-0 ODI whitewash. Despite a poor run in the ongoing ODI series against Australia, the selectors are likely to persist with wayward Ishant Sharma for the West Indies series.
Fit again Zaheer Khan, who last played an international match against England in the third Test at Kolkata, may not have impressed the selectors with his performances (seven wickets) against the West Indies ‘A’ team recently, but his four for 59 yesterday during Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy encounter against Haryana at Lahli may have a good impact on his chances to get back into the Indian team.
It is learnt the left-arm pacer’s ability to reverse swing would be discussed in the selection meeting. The in-form pair of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan will open the batting in the forthcoming series. Cheteshwar Pujara will come in at No 3 followed by Sachin Tendulkar, who will play his last international series. Virat Kohli, skipper MS Dhoni, Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mishra, Ishant and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will follow.
If the selectors decide to pick a 14-member team then there could be a fight between Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina for the specialist batsman spot. Medium pacer Mohd Shami is likely to get rewarded for his good show against Australia. Umesh Yadav will be the extra seamer.