Takeaways from India’s selection: The selection panel announced 3 separate squads for India’s upcoming assignments. India is slated to play 3-match ODI series and a 3-match T20I series against the visiting New Zealand side. They will then be playing Australia in the high-profile Border-Gavaskar trophy. The team has been announced for the first two Tests. There have been certain interesting inclusions and few exclusions from the respective squads.
We look at 7 key takeaways from India’s selection:
#1 Prithvi Shaw finally earns a call-up
The Mumbai batsman has been in terrific form across formats. Prithvi Shaw became part of an elusive club of list-A batters to have scored a triple, double, and a century across formats. The call for his inclusion kept growing louder with every series India featured in. He has finally gotten the nod in the T20I series against New Zealand. Shaw is one of the four openers in the squad. It will be interesting to see if he gets a nod ahead of Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
#2 Sanju Samson remains on the sidelines
The injury to Sanju Samson continues to keep him on the sidelines. Jitesh Sharma has received an extension in India’s T20I squad. He will be one of the two wicketkeepers in the team along with Ishan Kishan.
#3 KL Rahul and Axar Patel miss out owing to family commitments
Both KL Rahul and Axar Patel will be missing out on the series against New Zealand owing to their family commitments. Shahbaz Ahmed replaces Patel in the ODI squad. KS Bharat has been added in place of Rahul in the ODI squad. Rahul’s absence might effectively open up a spot for Kishan in the middle order or force India to play him at the top and allow Suryakumar Yadav a run in ODIs.
#4 No Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in T20Is
It is for the first time since his India debut that Harshal Patel has been dropped from the squad. There is no inclusion of Bhuvneshwar Kumar either in the team. The two senior members will need the IPL to stage a comeback at this moment.
#5 Batting powerhouses not part of T20Is
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are batting behemoths in T20Is. Interestingly the T20I squad doesn’t feature either of the giants. It might be keeping in view their workload considering this is the ODI year. But the omission does raise an eyebrow.
#6 Kishan and Surya earn a Test call
It was on expected lines that Ishan Kishan might earn a Test call up owing to Rishabh Pant’s unfortunate injury. Kishan is a like-to-like replacement for Pant as he is also someone who could be the X-factor in the BGT series. Suryakumar Yadav too earned a Test call for the series. But in a team that almost picks itself, it will be hard for Surya to break into the playing XI unless India chooses to play 7 batters.
#7 No place still for domestic Bradman – Sarfaraz Khan
India might have dangled the carrot of selecting a red-hot Suryakumar Yadav for the Test series. But this resulted in the non-inclusion of Sarfaraz Khan who has had fantastic numbers over the past few seasons. There is hardly anything that the Mumbai batter could do more to warrant a selection. He could probably draw inspiration from the other Mumbai batter (SKY) who piped him to the post.