India vs West Indies: Will Rohit Sharma not get to play if Virat Kohli chooses 5 batsmen?

The Indian team management is facing a dilemma for first Test against the West Indies with a difficult choice between senior pros Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane if they opt for a fifth specialist bowler. Between Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, it could be Ajinkya Rahane going by his wretched form in red-ball cricket, unless India goes with a safety-first four bowler strategy which allows both Test and ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma to figure in the scheme of things. If India goes with a conservative strategy, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal will be in. However, it should be stated here that in India’s last Test series against Australia, it was Rahul who was dropped and was replaced by Hanuma Vihari.

Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara are the two pillars at No. 3 and No. 4 respectively but there is a problem. With Rishabh Pant expected to come in at No. 6 and Ravindra Jadeja with his all-round skills bringing in the necessary balance at No. 7 in the absence of an injured Hardik Pandya, the Indian skipper may be left with an unenviable task of putting either Rahane or Rohit on the chopping block.

Talking about bowling attack, Kuldeep Yadav is a certainty along with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma. The toss up then will be between a batsman and Mohammed Shami. Even though he has been India’s top Test bowler in the last few years, the chances of Ravichandran Ashwin finding a place in the playing XI looks slim indeed.

There is an assumption that this Indian team can take 20 wickets with four bowlers but will Kohli take that risk in their World Test Championships opener? That is such a big question now!

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