4 Indian players who should have been picked for the first 2 Tests against England

With a consecutive series victory for India down under, the expectations was obviously soared for the series against England at home. Both the teams are mighty confident and equally matched in all the departments, making it one fascinating of a Test series to look forward to. Given the disappointing results procured on the previous tour to India, England has rightly picked a strong squad dominated by stalwarts of the game. Owing to their benchmark selection, Englishmen have bettered the home team in the 1st test match at Chepauk. Indian bowlers struggled to pick up the wickets in the 1st innings and similarly our batsmen struggled against spin in the 1st innings.

Even though India, barring a few forced changes have gone with a strong squad, picking the majority of those who were part of the victorious squad that toured Australia. While many of these faces picked were a certain necessity, there were few, who deserved their place but, unfortunately, were ignored as far as this selection goes. The second test match is scheduled to take place on 13th Feb at the same venue. India will look forward to level up the series. In the below piece, we look at 4 such Indian players, who should have been picked for the first 2 Tests against England:

1. Thangarasu Natarajan

The biggest positive on the Australian tour, who also wrote a unique record for himself by becoming the only cricketer to make his debut in all the 3 formats on a single tour, Natarajan’s exclusion from the Test squad came as a big shock for many.

Having picked 3 wickets in the Brisbane Test at an average of 39.67 and economy rate of 3.1, Natarajan provided enough promise and showed that he belonged to the big stage.

There was no feeling of nervousness in the way he went about and his inclusion could have added variety to the Indian bowling attack which lacked a genuine left-arm pacer. Natarajan has scalped 67 wickets from 21 first-class games at an average of 27.6 and economy rate of 3.03 for Tamil Nadu. playing in home turf would have done wonders to this man who rose through meritocracy.

2. Navdeep Saini

A rising talent in the Indian domestic circuit, Saini deserved his go in the upcoming England series. The unfortunate injury picked during the 4th Test could be a probable reason for his exclusion but given that he bowled in the 2nd innings and even batted, he should have been considered, to say the least.

A hit the deck bowler, who has genuine pace and can get the ball to move viciously, Saini could have been the ‘X-factor’ for India, who is well-versed in cleaning up the tail which has troubled India for quite some time now.

If not for now, he will surely be in the reckoning for a spot in the Indian team across all the 3 formats, rattling opposition line-ups with his lightning pace. The speedster had picked 4 wickets from 2 games in the recent series against Australia while his first-class record stands as 129 wickets from 48 games at an economy rate of 2.86 and an average of 28.8.

3. Jayant Yadav

The find of the previous home series against England in 2016, Yadav came up as an impeccable all-round option for India, contributing heftily in both the departments of the game.

The Haryana off-spinner had plundered 221 runs from 3 Tests at an average of 73.67 and also picked 9 wickets at an average of 29.56. When the top order failed to put up a fight, Yadav wielded his willow effectively and was involved in many century stands for India in that series.

Inspite of impressing the cricketing world massively in only his debut series, Yadav lost his place in the Indian team for reasons still unknown and the upcoming encounters would have been an  ideal platform for his comeback, getting an opportunity to continue from where he left last time around.

4. Shreyas Iyer

Though the Indian top order is heavily packed with experienced and in-form batsmen, Iyer’s inclusion in the squad would have provided tremendous boost to this high-in-confidence Indian line-up.

Just by being around and interacting with these greats of the game, Iyer would have learnt the finer nuances of the game and rectified some of the flaws that exists in his batsmanship. By the time these superstar batsmen retire, Iyer would be transformed into a supreme batsman of his generation, capable of going against any opposition in any condition.

Considering that he is in the thick of things going ahead for India across all the formats, Iyer will eventually be picked sooner or later, providing him with the requisite exposure before he takes the reins in his hand. The stylish batsman has blasted 4592 runs from 54 first class games at an average of 52.2 and strike rate of 81.5.

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