Senior players Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav were dropped from India’s Test squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies as the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the squads on Friday. Meanwhile three players – Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Mukesh Kumar – received call-ups.
Jaiswal and Gaikwad were among the top run-getters in this year’s Indian Premier League. The duo come in at the expense of Pujara whose prolonged run drought included a disappointing 14 and 27 in India’s loss to Australia in this month’s World Test Championship final.
Owing to the memorable performance in his comeback Test in the World Test Championship Final at The Oval, Ajinkya Rahane earned back his spot as vice-captain for the two Tests. Mohammed Shami has been rested for this Tour after a gruelling IPL and Test championship, while Navdeep Saini returned to the Test side.
Stalwarts Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are all recovering from injuries while wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant is still undergoing rehab following his car crash in December.
Barring the above mentioned changes, most players who made the cut for the squad in the WTC final will feature in the Caribbean. Further, the BCCI selectors have named a 17-member team, led by Rohit Sharma for the three One-Day Internationals against the West Indies. His deputy will be Hardik Pandya.
Keeping in mind the ICC Cricket World Cup, scheduled to be hosted in India in October, the management would be hoping to test out multiple playing combinations before the marquee event.
The two wicket-keeping options, in the absence of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul, are Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson. Meanwhile, India will have atleast five options to choose from in the pace-bowling department that comprises Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik and Mukesh Kumar.
The spin bowling department is missing the services of Ravichandran Ashwin but the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal could make the Playing XI again. Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel are the two spin-bowling all-rounder options.
India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Navdeep Saini.
India’s ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar.
The statement by the BCCI also annouced that India are scheduled to play five T20Is and the squad for the same will be announced later.
Schedule for India Tour of West Indies
|July 12-16||1st Test||Windsor Park, Dominica||07.30 PM IST|
|July 20-24||2nd Test||Queen's Park Oval, Trinidad||07.30 PM IST|
|Jul-27||1st ODI||Kensington Oval, Barbados||07.00 PM IST|
|Jul-29||2nd ODI||Kensington Oval, Barbados||07.00 PM IST|
|Aug-01||3rd ODI||Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad||07.00 PM IST|
With inputs from AFP