No MS Dhoni and an unstable middle-order in focus as we look at the key takeaways from Team India squad for the West Indies tour.
After a moderately successful World Cup 2019 campaign, India are set to travel West Indies for their first official tour post World Cup.
In the midst of the rumors of Split Captaincy and MS Dhoni Retirement, Team India have temporarily put all the rumors to rest by announcing their squad for the West Indies tour.
The team sees Hardik Pandya being rested for all the three formats, while Jasprit Bumrah being rested for the limited-overs. Apart from these two changes, there seem to be many new faces in the squad to add to the excitement.
So, what are the key takeaways from Team India’s squad for the tour of West Indies?
#4: NO MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI
Indian media was going bonkers over the retirement of MS Dhoni as they left no choice but ‘forced retirement’ on the veteran wicket-keeper batsman.
But, to everyone’s surprise, MS Dhoni made himself unavailable from the squad. Instead, he decided to join the Paramilitary Regiment for 2 months.
This might come as shocking news for the news channels, who were just itching to boost their TRPs basis Dhoni’s retirement announcement.
3: RISHABH PANT, THE PRIMARY WICKET-KEEPER
With MS Dhoni making himself unavailable, It is pretty much clear that Team Management is looking at Rishabh Pant as their first choice wicket-keeper in all the three formats
The chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad too made it clear that they are looking to groom Rishabh Pant. They want to give him as many chances as possible.
While Pant is an automatic choice in the limited-overs format, he is also most likely to edge Wriddhiman Saha as the wicket-keeper in the Test matches considering how good he has been with the bat in England and Australia.
However, as compared to Wriddhiman Saha, Pant’s wicket-keeping skills are mediocre, and need lots of improvements.
2: MIDDLE-ORDER DILEMMA
Team India’s middle-order has been an issue for eternity now. Even before the first match at the World Cup, India were not decided on the ‘crucial number 4’ position.
This time, India would be experimenting their middle-order with inform talented batsmen, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey.
While both have already played for India in the past, none was able to grab the opportunities.
No doubt, both are extremely talented, and have been absolutely brilliant playing for India A scoring runs in abundance. But, can they finally stamp their name in India’s middle-order?.
1: YOUNG TALENTS AT DISPLAY
The shortest format of the game sees as many as 6 new and emerging talent being added to India’s squad.
This includes many fresh faces in the form of Navdeep Saini, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, and Washington Sundar.
Sundar, Khaleel, and Deepak Chahar have played in the past for Team India. But, Saini and Rahul Chahar are most likely to begin their International journey against West Indies.
Saini is an exciting pace bowler, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL and Delhi in Ranji. While Chahar is a mystery spinner, who plays for Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
Apart from the above-mentioned takeaways, there are some questions which look unanswered.
1. What is the role of Kedar Jadhav in the team?
He was neither utilized as an all-rounder nor as a finisher, since Dinesh Karthik was preferred above him as the finisher in the World Cup. So, unless the team is looking at either of the two, no sense in taking him in the team.
2. Who is the batting all-rounder in the team?
If Kedar Jadhav isn’t utilized as a bowler, then the likes of Krunal, Jadeja, and Sundar are more of bowling all-rounders. So, how would the team manage the need of a batting all-rounder in the absence of Hardik Pandya?
Team India are set to begin their tour on August 3 with the T20I first, then followed by ODIs and Tests.
We just hope Team India get some kind of confidence from the likes of Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, and Rishabh Pant in search to stabilize the middle-order.