Bangalore: India's 2012-13 Test cricket season starts in a couple of months' time. Ten Test matches - all at home and therefore perhaps not as tricky as the season gone by - are lined up for India. And for the first time in over a decade-and-a-half, there will be no Rahul Dravid to fall back on. More middle-order spots in the Test team might open up by the end of the season, but straightaway, there's the Dravid vacancy that needs filling.
In line to stake their claims are Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary and Cheteshwar Pujara.
The four of them, along with Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan and Robin Bist, are currently with the India A squad, ready to take on West Indies A in three four-day games, three 50-over matches and two Twenty20s. Mukund, Dhawan and Bist too are on the selectors' radar, but the other four are the real contenders. At least one of them, if not more, should figure in the squad come August, and the two-Test series against New Zealand.