Xtra Time Web Desk: The main ,talking point in the Indian camp ahead of the first test match against Australia is whether to include Shubman Gill or Suryakumar Yadav in the playing XI. While Shubman has been the in-form batter and has scored a hundred in the last test series against Bangladesh, Suryakumar on the other hand is a gun player who can dominate both spin and pace. Both Surya and Shubman had an intense batting session in the lead up to the test match.
The Indian cricket team had an optional training session on Wednesday with only left arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat turning up along with all the net bowlers in the likes of Sai Kishore, Jayant Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, Pulkit Narang and Rahul Chahar. Unadkat batted in the nets for almost one hour under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Rahul Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathour. The left arm fast bowler also practice taking short balls towards the end of his batting session. It is not clear whether he will be included in the playing XI or not as Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj will be the two frontline pacers. May be he is being kept ready in case one of the fast bowlers breaks down before the test starts.
As far as the batting order is concerned the top four automatically pick themselves in the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. It will be a choice between Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav for the No 5 slot.
In the abscence of Rishabh Pant, India needs an attacking option in the middle-order. Surya can provide that. The 360-degree batter can unsettle the Aussie spin and pace attack with his array of strokes.
If the team management decides to play both Suryakumar and Shubman, then you have to play with four frontline bowlers, which is very unlikely. The hosts will definitely go in with five bowlers with Shami and Siraj as the fast-bowling options. Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja will be the three spinners.
The other option could be to ask KL Rahul to keep wickets and take both SKY and Gill. However, with the number of injuries Rahul has had, it is unlikely that Team India will go that route. Hence, only one of Gill or SKY will make it to the Playing XI for the first test in Nagpur.
Predicted India Playing XI 1st Test:
Shubman Gill/Suryakumar Yadav
KS Bharat (WK)