The Indian selectors may induct young Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund in case Gautam Gambhir [ Images ] is ruled out for the Test series against West Indies [ Images ] as they meet in Chennai on Friday to select the touring squad.
With Virender Sehwag [ Images ] 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 [ Images ] will get a look in as there aren't too many alternatives, Mukund, who has 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 [ Images ] in Bangalore last year.
While captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni [ Images ], senior pros Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ], Rahul Dravid [ Images ] and VVS Laxman [ Images ] and Zaheer Khan [ Images ] are expected to be back, the No 6 slot is still up for grabs. The probable candidate at that spot -- Cheteshwar Pujara [ Images ] played in South Africa [ Images ] but he is nursing a knee injury.
Yuvraj Singh [ Images ] in all likelihood will be rewarded for his good form in the World Cup. However Virat Kohli [ Images ] 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 [ Images ] is favourite with his ability to play the new ball.
Likely Squad (16): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir/Abhinav Mukund, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh/Suresh Raina [ Images ], Parthiv Patel/Wriddhiman Saha (second wk), Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma [ Images ], S Sreesanth [ Images ], Munaf Patel [ Images ], Harbhajan Singh [ Images ], Pragyan Ojha [ Images ], Amit Mishra [ Images ], Badrinath/Virat Kohli.