MUMBAI: The Sandeep Patil-led national selection committee, which meets at the Cricket Centre on Wednesday afternoon to pick the Test and ODI squads for Bangladesh, has a dilemma on its hands. With Bangladesh in red-hot ODI form, having beaten Pakistan 3-0 in the series recently, can India afford to give their key stars some much-needed rest and bank instead on talented but inexperienced performers?

Virat Kohli may play Bangladesh Test, skip ODIs

Virat Kohli may play Bangladesh Test, skip ODIs
Virat Kohli may play Bangladesh Test, skip ODIs

If Patil & Co opt to go with youngsters, players like Shreyas Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sandeep Sharma, Pawan Negi and Hardik Pandya who have excelled in IPL 8 could find themselves donning the blue jersey. This is something India did last year as well when they sent a second-string side for the ODI series there.

It is unlikely that regular skipper MS Dhoni will travel to Bangladesh. Virat Kohli too is understood to have asked for a rest from the ODIs, though he is likely to be available for the Test. Suresh Raina could be brought in as the stand-in ODI skipper, a responsibility he was saddled with last year too.

India travel to Bangladesh for a solitary Test and a three-match ODI series from June 7-24. The visitors are scheduled to play the Test in Fatullah from June 10-14, followed by the three ODIs in Mirpur (June 18, 21, 24).

Things are more settled on the Test front. With Kohli making himself available, there will only be minor changes to the squad that toured Australia for the four-match series. There are question marks surrounding the availability of speedster Mohammed Shami, who was forced to miss the IPL owing to a knee injury.

While fast bowlers Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are expected to hold their places, it is unlikely that any other pacer will be in the mix, since unlike the tour Down Under, for which the visitors had named 19 players, only 15 will be travelling to Bangladesh.

Virat Kohli may play Bangladesh Test, skip ODIs

Off-spinner R Ashwin is expected to lead the spin attack, but the duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Karn Sharma, the other two slow bowlers who were part of the Oz sojourn, could find it difficult to break in given their unimpressive form.

It will be interesting to see if veteran off spinner Harbhajan Singh, who has been in terrific form in the IPL, can make a comeback. The 34-year-old, who last featured in a Test match in March 2013 against Australia, has staked his claim by snapping 14 wickets for Mumbai Indians in 13 games at an impressive economy rate of 7.87. It will also give the selectors and the BCCI a chance to give the bowler, who has starred in many India wins, an honorable exit.

On the batting front, things look largely settled with Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma having little to worry about. Patil and Co. would however be forced to discuss the position of Suresh Raina who struggled in the only Test he played in Australia where he bagged a pair in Sydney.

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