Dinesh Karthik has literally taken the cricketing world by storm. He has made a dream come back, struck the ball like his life depends on it, and finished games like there's no tomorrow.
There's no denying that Karthik's been hitting the ball as well as anyone in world cricket. He is the best guy for the job at number six to finish the game for India. But, in what will turn out to be a huge headache for the team, where will Karthik fit once everyone returns to the set-up?
Let's make one thing very clear. The top three will remain untouchable. Rohit, Kohli, Rahul - these players will unarguably form the top three. Once Jadeja returns, he will walk straight into the eleven and take the number 7 spot.
Hardik Pandya has been in the form of his life. With the bat in hand, he is next only to Karthik in terms of finishing abilities. He's bowling too. That should help him seal his spot for good at number 5 or 6.
Now there are two spots left and three major contenders for it. Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, and Suryakumar Yadav. Going by current form, Dinesh Karthik is indispensable. Surya was performing well in the IPL before he got injured. He also has the most sixes for India in T20 cricket in the last two years - 20. When he ultimately returns, his form will be under the lens.
He had an average of 43.29 in the recently concluded IPL, with a strike rate of 145.67. These are some great numbers. He has also been performing well in the blue jersey.
Rishabh Pant, well, he is the current captain of the Indian team. That justifies the kind of best the Indian selectors, Rahul Dravid has on him. He has consistently come out at number 4 for some time now.
He is a world-beater and is arguably the most dangerous batsman in the world on his day. But, the fact remains that as far as the performances are concerned, they haven't really come in the shortest format of the game.
In Pant's defence, he has been timing the ball well. We could see that even in the IPL. He had a strike-rate of over 150 throughout, but the runs aren't coming as often as they should. It's just a phase where everything in his batting seems to go wrong. Rahul Darvid has seen Pant go about his business from his U-19 days, and knows him well. What will be his call?
Will the selectors back Rishabh Pant? Or will they take the bold call to drop one of Surya or Dinesh?