India's T20I auditions leave several discards in its wake
With close to 30 T20 internationals in hand before the T20 World Cup next year in Australia, Team India was willing to allow youngsters to prove themselves, post the ODI WC debacle.
"We want to look at all the games to build a solid combination - conditions-based, obviously, because when you play in Australia, the combination will be different. And according to your team's strength, and how a player is performing in different conditions, this is what we're trying to figure out," Virat Kohli said shortly after the ODI World Cup.
Owing to the same, spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav had to sit out.
However, with the home series against West Indies, the team appears to be settling down a bit. With the skipper reckoning only one spot to be up for grabs now, the outfit has started finalising their personnel.
Here's a look at the players who auditioned during the aforementioned period but have now fallen out of favour.
Krunal Pandya was being looked at as the leading finger spinning all-rounder after he bagged successive player of the match awards.
He played 18 T20Is since November 2018, picking up 14 wickets at an economy of 8.11 and a bowling average of 38.42. Krunal also chipped in with the bat with an average of 24.20 and a strike rate of over 130.
However, with him having proven expensive and failed to pick up wickets in the last few matches, he seems to have lost his place to Washington Sundar and Ravindra Jadeja.
Rahul Chahar emerged as the leading spinner for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019. He picked up 13 wickets from as many matches and bowled at an economy of under seven. Chahar was included ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal in all the three T20I series that India played post the ODI World Cup.
But, the leg spinner got to play only one match in which he bowled three overs and was a bit expensive, conceding runs at nine. Chahar was able to pick up only one wicket in that match and has not played a game since.
With Yuzvendra Chahal doing well on comeback and Kuldeep Yadav being included in the squad as well, there does not seem any opening for the Punjab bowler.
Vijay Shankar came into the Indian setup post the Koffee with Karan controversy surrounding Hardik Pandya and stayed on due to Pandya's injury. Even after Hardik regained fitness, Shankar retained his place as a middle-order batsman.
He got four games, all before the the World Cup and did a decent job, scoring 84 runs at a strike rate of over 155 and also picked up two wickets.
Shankar has fallen out of favour and does not appear likely to be coming back into the squad any time soon despite some impressive performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.
Dinesh Karthik did a fine job for India in the 11 T20Is that he played since November 2018. He established himself as the finisher and contributed 130 runs at a strike rate of almost 140 and an average of 43.33.
His average swelled up due to the several times he returned unbeaten, which included some match-winning performances. In fact, the batsman has been unbeaten the most times in successful T20I run chases in the last two years.
However, he bore the brunt of India's World Cup defeat and was squarely given the blame for it.
Khaleel Ahmed has been the most disappointing T20I auditionee for India. After a successful IPL 2019 in which we picked up 19 wickets from just nine games at an average of just over 15 and an economy of 8.23, he was backed to the hilt by the Indian team management.
The fact that he brings in the left-arm variety also led the think tank to give him numerous opportunities. The pacer, unfortunately, flattered only to deceive.
With 13 wickets from 14 games since November 2018 at an economy of 8.82 and an average of over 35, Khaleel has probably bowled himself out of contention for the T20 World Cup.
©Cricket World 2019