There were plenty of talking points as the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the squads for the upcoming tours to New Zealand and Bangladesh, with three different captains for four different series. Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and, of course, Rohit Sharma will be leading various Indian sides over the course of next few weeks. The Chairman of selectors of the All-India Senior Selection Committee, Chetan Sharma, addressed a virtual press conference today to announce four squads simultaneously.
Among some notable changes was the inclusion of Umran Malik in both the limited-overs squads against New Zealand, the appointment of Hardik Pandya as captain in the T20Is against the Kiwis and some surprising exclusions such as the absence of Hanuma Vihari in the Test squad against Bangladesh and the absence of Dinesh Karthik in all squads.
But perhaps the one thing that has been in the mind of many Indian cricket fans, is what about Prithvi Shaw?
Chetan Sharma answered questions about these selections.
Here are excerpts from the press conference:
On Prithvi Shaw’s absence in the four squads announced:
“We basically are looking at him, and we are in constant touch with him, he’s doing well. There is nothing wrong with him at all. The thing is we have to look at the set-up, we are trying to give chances to those who are performing and are already in the set-up. He will definitely get his chances very soon the way he is batting, even whenever we are there for matches we are talking to him.”
On Hanuma Vihari being left out of Tests vs Bangladesh:
“We discussed about him quite a bit. Our middle order is packed, you spoke about Pujara and there are the likes of (Virat) Kohli, (Shubman) Gill, (Shreyas) Iyer are there. Some players miss out but it doesn’t mean that they are not in the scheme of things. Right now, we are figuring out based on combinations who would be best suited for the XI for playing in Bangladesh. He was part of the side and he will be part of the squad again, soon. .”
On Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness and plans to return:
“The selection committee follows workload management closely. We tried to hurry up Jasprit Bumrah recently because the World Cup is coming and you can see what happened. We are without him at the World cup. NCA team is looking after him very well. He will definitely be part of the team soon, for the Australia series. Right now, we are a little cautious about including Bumrah for Bangladesh. When we rest a player, there is always a reason behind it. He will be back soon.”
On Dinesh Karthik not being in the scheme of things anymore:
“It is not like that [the selectors are looking for other finishers]. The World Cup is going on and this is more about load management. We are focusing on who to rest and who to play. And the way he came to our side and the way he performed, he is always available to selectors but in the T20I games immediately after the World Cup, we are looking to try a different set of players. Otherwise, the doors are open for him and he’s a brilliant player.”
On Sarfaraz Khan performing at the domestic level but not getting a look in:
“We are giving him opportunities wherever possible. We recently gave him a chance with India A. He is a brilliant player and we are in touch with him but there should be vacant spots in the team. He is a brilliant player, he knows it too and the selectors are also in touch with him. He is not that far away. I have spoken to him often. Sometimes, you have to work harder to be included in the team because there are already players for that spot. Otherwise, Sarfaraz has done his job and he is a serious contender and he will definitely get a chance very soon.”
On whether anyone specifically asked for rest:
“Nobody asked for rest. All the decisions are part of workload management of players. We have reports from the medical team on who to give rest when and how to manage them.”
Three T20Is vs NZ: Hardik Pandya (C), Rishabh Pant (vc & wk), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (wk), W Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik.
Three ODIs vs NZ: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Rishabh Pant (vc & wk), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (wk), W Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik.
Three ODIS vs BAN: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Shreyas Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Yash Dayal
Two Tests vs BAN: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (VC), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav.