With injured middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh ruled out and offie Harbhajan Singh reportedly seeking a break for a family commitment, a few youngsters could make the cut as the national selectors choose a 15-member squad Tuesday for the three-match one-day series against South Africa beginning Feb 21.
Yuvraj, who missed the Test series against South Africa, is yet to recover from the ligament tear in his wrist which he sustained during the Bangladesh tour, sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said.
Either Abhishek Nair or Yusuf Pathan is likely to replace Yuvraj.
Opener Gautam Gambhir also injured his left forearm while batting on day two of the ongoing second Test between the two sides.
However, though there was swelling as also bruises, an x-ray did not show any bone damage.
"At this moment the selectors are not unduly concerned about him. And the feeling is that whatever problem he has, he will be okay by Feb 21," said sources close to the selection panel.
The three-match one-day series kicks off at Jaipur Feb 21, with the other two games slated for Gwalior (Feb 24) and Ahmedabad (Feb 27).
Harbhajan is understood to have asked for permission to opt out of the first two games for attending a family function.
When contacted, BCCI secretary N. Srinivasan refused to comment on whether the board has received any such request from Harbhajan, but did not deny it either.
"You will come to know everything after the selection meeting tomorrow. At this moment I am not in a position to say anything more," Srinivasan told IANS.
However, sources said if Harbhjan's request is granted, then Tamil Nadu offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin could get a look in.
Among the pacers, an off-form Ishant Sharma and an injured S. Sreesanth also seem to be uncertain. Young medium pacers Abhimanyu Mithun and Sudip Tyagi, or any one of the two, thus could be considered by the quintet of selectors.
Ashish Nehra is set to make a comeback while Zaheer Khan is a certainty.
Sachin Tendulkar, who rested himself in the ODI series in Bangladesh, is also certain to find a place in the squad.