Mumbai: Indian selectors will have a lot to discuss and deliberate in the wake of the national cricket team`s pathetic show in Australia when they meet here tomorrow to pick the squad for next month`s Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
With the team seemingly in disarray in Australia because of a collective failure, especially in the batting department, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and his co-selectors would have to do a fine balancing act to get Indian cricket back on track.
The five wise men are under immense pressure from the millions of fans in the country to wield the axe and discard non-performing members of the squad now in Australia.
Whether they rest or axe senior batsmen like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, who is in woeful form at present and is also allegedly at loggerheads with the skipper, and under performing juniors like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja — and inject new bloo1d is open to conjecture.
It is not clear whether skipper Dhoni, after having played non-stop cricket and looking jaded himself, will be rested for the four-nation continental championships to be held in Dhaka between from March 11 and 22.
India are the defending champions and five-time winners of the trophy and a huge alteration in the composition of the squad is unlikely.
But there are going to be changes after the consecutive flop show in England and Australia by the World Cup-winning team.
There are some injury worries too, notably to R Vinay Kumar and Irfan Pathan.
Kumar sat out the team`s penultimate league game against Australia and also missed the last game against Srilanka at Hobart, while Pathan, who collided on the field with Suresh Raina at Sydney, was not fit enough to take the field in their final round-robin match against the Lankans.
In order to wield the axe in forthright manner, the reserves cupboard should be full, but going by the domestic display there are very few new faces which have caught the eye in the ongoing zonal one-dayers.
Irfan`s brother Yusuf, who has started playing after getting injured in the earlier part of the season, has shown how much of a game-changer he could be when conditions suit his style of batting in the sub-continent by blasting his way to a century against Saurashtra two days ago with the help of 10 sixes and six fours. With Jadeja being out of sorts and Test specialist Pragyan Ojha also not among the thick of wickets in the one-day domestic event, Yusuf is very likely to be recalled to the squad for his all round abilities as a powerful hitter lower down the order and an economical off-break bowler.
Also in the selectors` radar could be Robin Uthappa, another big-hitting batsman, who is third in the top scorers` list in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with 292 runs, including a belligerent century.
Topping the run-getters` list is Kakinada-born Dwaraka Ravi Teja of Hyderabad with 354 runs from 5 games at 85-plus per innings and second is Tamil Nadu wicket keeper Dinesh Karthik (302 from 5 games with 72-plus average).
Teja is a hard-hitting opener, who also bowls leg breaks and has taken seven wickets in the one-day league, while Karthik has considerable experience and has a good chance to be picked if Dhoni is rested. Wridhiman Saha, now considered number two wicket-keeper after Dhoni for Tests, must also be in the selectors` eyesight after his good show for Bengal in the one-dayers aggregating 206 from three games at over 91 per innings.