Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav have been dropped from India’s Test series in the West Indies, thus resurfacing the transition talk, while pace spearhead Mohammed Shami has been rested from the Test and ODI series in the Caribbean.
Top-order batters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have earned their maiden call-up for the Test series that marks the beginning of India’s new World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.
The four-member national selection panel, with interim chief selector Shiv Sundar Das, during its meeting on Thursday evening, finalised the squads for the two Tests and three ODIs in the West Indies, starting July 12.
Announcing the squads on Friday, BCCI secretary Jay Shah stated that the squad for the five T20Is in the West Indies in August will be announced “later” but the statement did not offer any explanation on changes in the squad.
Sportstar understands that the selection committee, in consultation with the team management, decided to “move on” from Pujara and Umesh in the aftermath of India’s second successive WTC final loss.
Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who along with Virat Kohli have consistently been unable to pile on the big runs in the middle order for most of the last three years, had been dropped from India’s squad for the Test series versus Sri Lanka last year. Since then, not only was Pujara recalled since the one-off Test in England last July but had also been promoted as the vice-captain recently.
Interestingly, Rahane, who marked his return to Test cricket during the WTC final versus Australia, has been handed over the vice-captaincy yet again.
Jaiswal and Gaikwad have been earmarked as the next in line in India’s top three and one of them is set to make his debut in the series-opener on July 12.
Shami, meanwhile, is understood to have been given a break with an eye on his heavy workload in the last six months and an eye on his importance for India’s World Cup campaign in October-November. Navdeep Saini, who had featured in the two unofficial Tests versus Bangladesh A in November-December and had a decent Irani Cup outing versus Madhya Pradesh in March, has earned a Test call-up.
The ODI squad has witnessed Sanju Samson benefitting due to K.L. Rahul’s injury. It will be interesting to see whether Samson is preferred over Ishan Kishan as the primary wicketkeeper.
WI tour Test Squad
WI tour ODI Squad
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