India tour of West Indies 2023 : Squad Analysis of India
The Indian cricket team will tour the West Indies next month for 2 Test Matches, 3 ODI and 5 T20I series. BCCI recently announced the Indian squad for the Test and ODI series. The Test series also marks the beginning of 2023-25 World Test Championship cycle. The team has few fresh candidates who got their maiden call-ups and are the future of the red-ball game in India.
Rohit Sharma has been retained as the captain of the Test team. Veteran top-order batter Cheteshwar Pujara who managed to take Virat Kohli’s number 3 spot in India’s Test squad for almost a decade has been dropped from the red-ball cricket for the Carribean tour. The selectors dropped him after his below-par performance in the World Test Championship final.
Senior fast bowler, Umesh Yadav is another player who has been dropped from the Test team for this tour. He has often struggled to keep his place in the playing XI. India’s lead pacer, Mohammed Shami has been rested from the Test team.
Young players Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have finally made their way to the Indian squad. They have handed their maiden Test call-ups along with pacer Mukesh Kumar. Earlier Yashasvi and Mukesh traveled to England for the WTC final as standby players. Navdeep Saini who made his debut in the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy has been selected in place of Mohammed Shami who is rested for this tour.
Yashasvi Jaiswal in particular has earned his spot in Tests on the back of a fantastic average of above 80 in domestic first class cricket, including a brilliant performance in the Irani Cup final in which he backed up a first innings double century with another century in the second innings against Madhya Pradesh. He impressed many senior players with his outstanding performance and consistent form in the IPL 2023. However, Ruturaj Gaikwad’s selection in the Test team has sparked anger amongst Indian fans, who feel the selectors aren’t rewarding consistent domestic performance, instead privileges for white-ball players, who have done well in IPL.
Notably, India A captain Abhimanyu Easwaran hasn’t earned a call-up for the Test team, despite his good performance which suggests he was being molded into the type of player who could take Pujara’s role at number 3 spot in future. He has played nearly 90 first-class matches for Bengal and has averaged 47 in that duration as an opener.
Another player who fans and many senior players think deserved a call-up is Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan. His last three Ranji seasons have been phenomenal, as he scored many runs in the Mumbai's middle order. He would have been the ideal player to replace Rishabh Pant in the counter-attacking middle order role. He is capable of hitting both pace and spin. He has an average touching 80 in First Class cricket, at a strike rate of 70. Many former Indian players left baffled seeing Sarfaraz Khan remain on the sidelines despite the mountains of runs he has scored over the last three seasons of Ranji Trophy.
Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar expressed his dismay at the non-selection of Abhimanyu Easwaran and Sarfaraz Khan, saying that the importance of Ranji Trophy is no more like it used to be earlier.
India’s Test Squad
Rohit Sharma ©, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohi, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Navdeep Saini.
India’s ODI Squad
Rohit Sharma ©, Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jaydev Unadkat, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar.
Cover Credit : BCCIofficial