Rohit Sharma has been named in the Tests while Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer earned recalls to the white-ball set-ups as the chief selectors announced Team India's squad for the tour of the West Indies. After long-standing speculations, MS Dhoni has been granted a two-month sabbatical from cricket with chief selector MSK Prasad confirming the formers unavailability.
Hardik Pandya, who had suffered a groin injury during the semi-finals of the World Cup has been rested, so is Vijay Shankar who continues to recover from his toe injury. Virat Kohli has made himself available for all three formats while Jasprit Bumrah has been rested from white-ball cricket. Shikhar Dhawan, who suffered a fracture in his left hand during the World Cup also makes a return to the white-ball set-up.
Here's a look at the team selections for each format one-by-one-
Fresh faces in the T20I set-up
For the longest period of time, India has selected their side in the shortest format of the game based on their ODI set-up but with one eye on the T20 World Cup Down Under next October, the selectors have included a lot of new players in the T20 squad, rewarding them for their performances in IPL and domestic T20 competitions.
As a result, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey have been recalled in the T20 team following their impressive performances in both the IPL, India A, and domestic T20 competitions. The regular spin pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuvzvendra Chahal have made way for the likes of Washington Sundar and Mumbai Indians leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who impressed everyone with his guile and temperament in this years IPL and also [4 wickets in 2 games] in the ongoing One-day series against WI-A.
With Jasprit Bumrah rested for the ODI and T20Is, the selectors have rewarded the performers from India A like Khaleel Ahmed [12 wickets in 4 games], Navdeep Saini [6 wickets in 4 games] and Deepak Chahar. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the fast bowling department.
Iyer, Pandey return to the No.4 debate; Jadhav hold on to his place
Following impressive outings against West Indies A coupled with Team India's long-standing problems of finding a quality No.4 batsman, Shreyas Iyer, and Manish Pandey have found themselves back at thr heart of the No.4 debate. Rishabh Pant has been included as the sole specialist wicket-keeper in the side while Kedar Jadhav has managed to hold on to his place after having been dropped midway through the World Cup, which is a surprise really considering he is 34 and is unlikely to be in the plans for the 2023 World Cup. Which begs a question. Shouldn't the selectors have thrown a punt on Shubhman Gill instead of going with the safer option of Kedar Jadhav? And, what about Mayank Agarwal? Why was he selected as Rahul's cover if he wasn't in the ODI scheme of things?
Jadeja will be the only specialist all-rounder in the side following Pandya and Shankar's unavailability while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami will lead the pace attack that includes Navdeep Saini and left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed. The wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep and Chahal have been retained for the ODIs.
Saha returns; Rahul retained as a Test opener
Wriddhiman Saha makes a return to the Test set-up following a prolonged period of injury that had kept him out from the national side while KL Rahul has retained his place as the second opener, following the incumbent Prithwi Shaw's inability to recover from a foot injury, he sustained during the Mumbai T20 League.
Rohit Sharma has regained his place in the Test side while Kuldeep Yadav has been named as the third spinner alongside Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. The pace bowling quartet will consist of Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah.
When does the tour start?
The India tour of West Indies will kickstart from August 03 with a 3-match T20I series with the first two being played at Florida before shifting to Guyana for the final match of the series. The T20Is will be followed by a 3-match ODI series that commences from August 08 and will be followed by two Test matches at Antigua and Sabina Park, Jamaica.
Want to follow Team India on their tour of the Caribbean? We at The Bharat Army have got everything covered for you. Join the Bharat Army for all the ticket and hospitality related inquires for the tour of the West Indies.