Mumbai: Injury-ridden Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh's fitness will be put to test on Monday as selectors get ready to pick the squad for the three-Test home series against South Africa, which begins on March 26.
On Monday, the National Selection Committee will pick the squad only for the first Test.
After the big win in Perth, a triumph in the face of adversity, the Indians are buoyant. Anil Kumble's men have the right mix of youth and experience; and with the team giving the Aussies a fight, not much is expected to change in the squad for the forthcoming series.
TESTING TIME: The selection committee will pick the squad for the first Test on Monday.
Sources told CNN-IBN that Murali Kartik might get the nod as the third spinner. The pace attack will be led by RP Singh with Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan completing the lineup as Zaheer is still not fit.
"I am not sure when I am going to be fully fit. Being fully fit means being able to give 120 per cent. I don't want to these thoughts running in my mind when I play international cricket," Zaheer Khan says of his status.
For a home series, the selectors usually go in for a 14-member squad. But sources said that with many players carrying niggles, the selectors might add an additional player to the squad.
Sources say the possible 15 would shape up as: V Sehwag, W Jaffer, S Tendulkar, R Dravid, S Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni/Dinesh Karthik, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Murali Kartik, RP Singh, Irfan Pathan, S Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma /VRV Singh.
However, Yuvraj Singh still hasn't received a 100 per cent fitness certificate and that could open the door for Gautam Gambhir. No problems though for the golden generation of Indian batting. Laxman Dravid and Sourav Ganguly are raring to go.
"The way they have played in the last 2-3 years is very encouraging. And we have got the confidence. We have done well not only in India, but overseas as well. I think we have a great opportunity to be the Number One in Test cricket. Everyone will be keen to achieve that goal during the South Africa series," VVS Laxman says.