Shreyas Iyer scored 1,321 runs in Ranji Trophy 2015-16 season © PTI
Shreyas Iyer scored 1,321 runs in Ranji Trophy 2015-16 season © PTI

Indian selectors meet on Monday to pick the team for the three-Test series against New Zealand, beginning on September 22. India put on a professional performance against the West Indies and defeated the hosts 2-0 in a four-Test series in the Caribbean.  While the selectors will have to decide whether the likes of Rohit Sharma fit into the side, they will also want to give some consistent domestic performers in the domestic circuit a fair chance. Over the last two to three seasons, there have been some domestic talents who have been excellent and the selectors will probably take that into consideration before taking a final call. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs New Zealand 1st Test at Kanpur

Considering the fact that India play at home and have a long season ahead of them, adding a few new faces to the squad may not be a bad idea. It might also be a good idea to rotate the squad a bit and not play with the same set of players to avoid injuries. The cricketing arena saw Australia’s Mitchell Starc having a long lay-off after he played non-stop cricket. The Indian selectors surely will not want the same to happen with their players. Here are some of the players who will be on the selectors’ radar before they sit for the electing the team for series against New Zealand.

Robin Uthappa (Karnataka):  Karnataka’s wicketkeeper-batsman Uthappa has never played a Test for India, but been a part of India’s limited-overs set up in the past. He last played for the national side, when India toured Zimbabwe in 2015. Uthappa is an experienced figure in First-Class cricket and has been consistent in the last couple of seasons. He finished as the leading run-scorer of Ranji Trophy 2014-15 with 912 runs at 50.66 for Karnataka, which played a huge role in ensuring his state side won the title. His average improved drastically in the following season with 759 runs at over 58. Sadly, that was enough to guide Karnataka in the knockout stages. Uthappa also had a decent outing in the Duleep Trophy, scoring 180 at 45 in his four innings. READ: Should Gambhir be selected for IND-NZ Test series?

Rajat Paliwal (Services): Paliwal has drastically improved in the last couple of seasons. Services have been in Group C of the Ranji Trophy competitions and as a result, their players’ performances do not get the limelight they deserve. Paliwal had a magnificent Ranji Trophy 2015-16, finishing with 753 runs in 8 matches at a staggering average of 68.45 which included four centuries and a couple of fifties. He is also someone who scores at a brisk rate. Paliwal did well in 2014-15 having scored 623 runs at close to 52 in 13 innings.

Shreyas Iyer (Mumbai): Many were expecting Shreyas to be a part of the squad which toured West Indies but despite finishing with 1,321 runs at 73.38 in Ranji Trophy 2015-16, Shreyas failed to get the nod. Shreyas in his two seasons of First-Class cricket has scored close to 2,500 runs and the 22-year-old will surely be a name in discussion during the selectors meeting. Couple of seasons back, Shreyas top-scored for Mumbai with 809 runs and despite a poor start to the season, they made it to the semi-final of the tournament losing out to eventual champions, Karnataka. Lots of credit went to the young man for carrying the brunt of his side’s scoring. READ: Rahane wants to focus only on NZ series for now

Shahbaz Nadeem (Jharkhand): Nadeem is perhaps one of the unluckiest players in the country having not been included in the seniors squad despite being a consistent performer in the Ranji Trophy. Nadeem had a prolific Ranji Trophy 2015-16 where he finished as the leading wicket-taker with 51 scalps in just nine matches. Nadeem has close to 250 wickets in 71 First-Class matches yet a national call-up evades him. This might be his best chance to break into the national team.

Jalaj Saxena (Madhya Pradesh): Jalaj has been one of the most consistent all-rounders in the domestic circuit but has barely been in contention for a national call-up. He will represent Kerala in Ranji Trophy 2016-17  which will give the southern state a good chance of progressing.  Jalaj has scored more than 500 runs in the last three seasons and has picked up 35 wickets or more. The off-spinner picked up 49 wickets in the previous season and finished with 588 runs at 36.75 with the bat. Jalaj is just two shy of 200 First-Class wickets and is nearing 5,000 runs as well. Is he perhaps the other all-rounder India is looking for apart from having Ravichandran Ashwin in the side? READ: IND vs NZ: Williamson’s side face humongous task in unfamiliar conditions

Shardul Thakur (Mumbai): Mumbai’s spearhead Shardul went to the Caribbean island being a part of the squad which showed up against West Indies. Shardul, however did not make it to the playing XI even once. Shardul is currently in Australia playing a couple of unofficial Tests for India A against Australia A. Despite picking up four wickets in the match, India A lost a closely fought contest. With 27, 48 and 41 wickets respectively in the last three Ranji Trophy seasons, Shardul thoroughly deserves his place in the Indian team and it will not be surprising to see,if he retains his place in the squad.

Krishna Das (Assam):  Das took the country by storm by scalping 50 wickets in Ranji Trophy 2015-16, finishing just one short of Jharkhand’s Nadeem. Das, along with his opening partner, Arup Das form a deadly partnership and they ensured Assam reached the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy for the very first time. They lost to Saurashtra in the 2015-16 season but Das’ performance won accolades. READ: Rohit Sharma: Team India moving ahead in right direction

Suryakumar Yadav (Mumbai): While the likes of Shreyas and Shardul hog the limelight for Mumbai’s impressive show, one must not forget Suryakumar’s contribution to the side as well. He usually comes in at No. 4 or 5 and very rarely disappoints. His skipper Aditya Tare has showed faith in him and has given him the license to play his natural game. He has repaid his skipper’s faith scoring 788 in the previous season at 46.35. Not just that, he has averaged over 40 in each of his previous three seasons and is a handy off-spinner as well. He has been used sporadically by his skipper. He scored a magnificent 156 and 49 in his two innings for Mumbai in the Irani Cup 2016 against Rest of India. The 25-year-old has perhaps done enough in the recent past to get national recognition.

Sheldon Jackson (Saurashtra): Jackson’s growth over the last couple of seasons has been excellent. He had an excellent 2014-15 season scoring 819 runs for Saurashtra at 68.25, falling less than 100 runs short of the leading run-getter of the tournament. He was not at his best in the following season but played a few gritty innings which helped his side make it to the final for the very first time. Jackson has impressed in the ongoing Duleep Trophy as well playing for India Blue and his recent success makes him a strong contender to be discussed in the selectors’ room. READ: India vs New Zealand: Rohit Sharma named in Mumbai squad for warm-up match against visitors

Manish Pandey (Karnataka): Last, but not least, Pandey has been a prolific run-getter for Karnataka over the past few years. He was recently appointed as India A captain for the limited overs seeing his exceptional First-Class record. With an average of 50 in First-Class, Pandey certainly deserves a place in the India Test side. Though the Indian middle-order is filled with stars like Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, Pandey’s consistency will keep all of them at their toes. Pandey has done well in his limited international appearances so far.  He scored a match-winning century in the fifth One-Day International (ODI) against Australia at Sydney in January 2016 and one can hope that this talented cricketer may get an opportunity to represent India in the longer format soon.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry.com. He is a sport enthusiast and a keen observer of cricket, the contests, and its personalities. When not tracking cricket, he follows the world’s soccer leagues and is somewhat partial towards Liverpool. His Twitter handle is @pramz)