Time to look past Umesh Yadav?  © Getty Images
Time to look past Umesh Yadav? © Getty Images

Umesh Yadav has had a decent series against West Indies so far. He has bowled at good speeds and has troubled the batsmen on more than one occasion. In the two Tests so far, he has picked up 5 wickets , out of which 4 have come in one innings. He went wicketless in the second Test; bowling just 17 overs in the entire match. It is evident that Virat Kohli preferred Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and the spinners to do the job for his team, with Umesh used as the last resort. Ishant and Shami seem to have cemented their place in the team, which leaves India the chance to play another seamer or a batsman in his place, if needed. It will not be a bad option to give a few on the bench a look in for the third Test. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs West Indies 2016, 3rd Test at St Lucia

India have been doing a lot of damage with the bat, playing just five specialist batsmen. Ravichandran Ashwin’s batting skills too have come in handy, and so have Wriddhiman Saha’s. They have Rohit Sharma itching to get a game, but Kohli’s five-bowler policy might keep him out once again. That paves way for the two pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur to shine. READ: India vs West Indies 3rd Test: Key battles

Playing Bhuvneshwar as the third seamer might benefit India as he is a specialist bowler who was found to have got his mojo back in the IPL. With Ishant and Shami cranking up the pace, it might be a good variation to their one dimensional attack, if Bhuvneshwar plays. Also they have the raw talent of Shardul, who has been a consistent bowler for Mumbai in the domestic circuit. While Thakur too is a quick bowler, he may turn out to be the surprise package as not many from the West Indies team would have seen him play. He did get to play in one of the tour games and also picked up the wicket of Leon Johnson.

Former Australia great Jeff Thomson had also once said that Shardul has the capability to outshine some of the regulars in the Indian team, if given a chance at the Caribbean. “I don’t really follow your bowlers except for this one over here [Shardul], who hasn’t played yet. But I will tell you here and now, if he gets a game, he’ll do as good as anybody,” said Thomson. READ: Why two draws on the trot will be equivalent to a defeat for India

“Don’t be surprised, if he gets a game [in the tour of West Indies], that he does better than the ones that are out there. That’s coming from me,” he added. Coming from a man, who terrorised the batsmen during his time, his words must hold some weight.

Not to forget the fact that all-rounder Stuart Binny too is a seam up bowler, who is handy with the bat as well.  It is unlikely that Binny will get a game, but Kohli can be happy with the option. Ravindra Jadeja, who is their spin all-rounder, may again have to sit out as Ashwin and Amit Mishra have done little wrong so far. Kohli has always been vocal about the fact that he and has resources to play on any sort of pitch, in any conditions. There is no doubt about that whatsoever! READ: Why Virat Kohli should prefer Ravindra Jadeja over Amit Mishra

Bhuvneshwar had an excellent IPL, where he finished as the leading wicket-taker. There was a phase where he had lost his swing, in a big to bowl fast — something he himself admits. He has since worked hard and made a few technical changes to get his swing back and it showed in the IPL.

India have a 1-0 lead in the series with two matches to go. With a long season ahead, it might be a good idea to give one or two from the bench some match practice against a relatively weak West Indies side. They will have bigger challenges against England and New Zealand, but getting some game time could do them a world of good.

(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)