Hits and misses of India's selected squad for the tour of West Indies
The World Cup dream came crashing down for Team India on July 9 when a steadfast New Zealand got the better of the Men in Blue and ended their campaign.
Now begins another four-year circle of determination and perseverance, building up for the next premier ODI tournament. The four-year period will also have a couple of T20 World Cups, along with the Test Championship kicking off and hence there is no dearth of quality cricket.
West Indies might have disappointed in the World Cup but almost everyone who has been tracking international cricket for a few years would know that they are not at all a team to be taken lightly. They showed what they are capable of in their World Cup opener against Pakistan, blowing the team away with a string of bouncers and Virat Kohli and Boys would know the potential that the Calypso Kings have as they gear up for a full-fledged Windies tour.
One of the biggest points of discussion before the announcement of the squad was whether or not MS Dhoni would be a part of it. The popular opinion was that Dhoni will retire from all forms of cricket after the 2019 World Cup but no such announcement came from the old warhorse.
As per media reports, he had made himself unavailable for the next two months and hence was not an option for the selectors to consider.
The selection committee led by MSK Prasad has announced the squad for each of the three ODIs, three T20Is and the two-match Test series.
Here are the hits and misses of the announced squad:
• A lot of Indian players were expected to be rested, following a long season coming to an end with the World Cup but the team management and the players have mutually decided to take part in the West Indian tour. This possibly emanates from the heartbreak due to their unceremonious exit from the World Cup and each of the players want to prove a point.
• India's famed top three Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli will also be seen in action on the tour. Shikhar Dhawan, who was ruled out of the World Cup after the match against Australia as he sustained a blow on his thumb, is back and is likely to be a part of India's starting XI.
• A few young and exciting players such as Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey will also be seen in action and will keep the audience excited about their prospect of becoming permanent members of the team in the future.
• Kedar Jadhav has been included in India's ODI squad. Jadhav was dropped midway from the team in the World Cup and did not feature in the remaining matches. He is 34 years old and unlikely to feature in the next World Cup in 2023. Also, he is not one of the players who is in contention for the T20I team and hence, it makes little sense to include him when the side should have ideally been looking to rebuild for the next World Cup.
• Both Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya have been rested for the tour. While Pandya does not find a place in any format, Bumrah will return for the Test series. The two players are among the most exciting and talented cricketers in world cricket and the fans will miss out on what the duo would have had to offer.
• Prithvi Shaw having not recovered in time, India's opening partnership will still not be settled, with Mayank Agarwal being the only certain choice at the top. The team has the likes of KL Rahul and Hanuma Vihari but none of them have actually sealed their place in the team till now.
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini
Test squad: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk) Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav
@ Cricket World