Mukund may replace Gambhir for Windies tour

Abhinav Mukund plays a shot Getty Images

Chennai: May 27, 2011

The Indian selectors may induct young Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund in case Gautam Gambhir is ruled out for the Test series against West Indies as they meet on Friday to select the squad.

With Virender Sehwag already out of the side recuperating from a shoulder surgery, Gambhir’s injury concerns have made it tough for the selectors to choose specialists who can negotiate the new ball.

While horribly out-of-form Murali Vijay will get a look in as there aren’t too many altenatives, Mukund who had scored 1211 runs this season from 12 first-class matches with five centuries is likely to make the cut. Mukund was kept as a cover during a Test match against Australia in Bangalore last year.

While captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, senior pros Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman and Zaheer Khan are expected to be back, the No 6 slot is still up for grabs.

Cheteshwar Pujara played in South Africa but he is nursing a knee injury.

Yuvraj Singh in all likelihood will be rewarded for his good form in World Cup. However Virat Kohli and S Badrinath will also be fighting for that particular slot. The battle for the second wicketkeeper will also be an intense one as Parthiv Patel is favourite with his ability to play the new ball.

Squad (Probable 16): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c & wk), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir/Abhinav Mukund, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh/Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel/Wriddhiman Saha (second wk), Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, S Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Badrinath/Virat Kohli.