BCCI has announced the Indian squads for the upcoming tours on Tuesday. The BCCI selectors had a meeting in Bengaluru where they selected Indian and India A squad, which will play a tri-series against England Lions and Windies A. Some surprise inclusions while some deserving inclusions in both India and India A side was seen. Many players were selected after a good domestic outing.
India Squad for Afghanistan (1 Test)
Test squad: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Shardul Thakur
This will mark the first test of Afghanistan and it was expected that India will send a B side for this test match, but surprisingly they have selected a full regular squad (minus Virat Kohli who will be missing the test match due to county commitments, Rahane will be the captain for the lone test instead) with the exception of Bumrah as he has been rested. Shardul Thakur comes in place of him.
KL Rahul comes in place of Virat Kohli, he is having a fabulous VIVO IPL 2018 and he will look to continue the form in the tests as well. Karun Nair has come in place of Rohit Sharma who had a lackluster South Africa tour. Pujara and Ishant will also return from England to play this test match as they are available during this time due to their teams not having a match in this period.
Afghanistan has been given the respect they deserve by sending a regular side instead of a B side.
India Squad for England (3 ODIs)
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
The One Day International Squad has surprisingly left out Manish Pandey and Ajinkya Rahane. KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu have replaced them. India is yet to find a No.4 batsman and Ambati Rayudu just may be it. He is having a terrific VIVO IPL 2018 similar to KL Rahul. He has scored over 400 runs at multiple positions. He is comfortable at any position and can adapt accordingly.
He last played an ODI in 2016 against Zimbabwe where he scored 41. He also has an average excess of 50 in ODI. Rayudu will look to grab the No.4 position for himself. Along with them, Siddharth Kaul has also been called up in the ODI squad due to an impressive domestic season and a terrific IPL season. He is good with a new ball and even better at the death.
India Squad for T20Is against Ireland and England (2 and 3 T20Is respectively)
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav
Rahane has once again been left out from the T20I side as well as KL Rahul has replaced him due to an excellent season of IPL and he averages 45+ in T20Is which is very impressive. Siddharth Kaul has again replaced Bumrah in the side. Shardul Thakur has been left out of the T20I side while Pandey maintains his position in T20 even though he is having a lackluster VIVO IPL.
Hardik Pandya comes back in the side replacing Vijay Shankar. Bhuvi replaces Thakur and Sundar keeps his place in the side. Surrey has confirmed that Kohli will miss the first T20I against Ireland but he will be available for the 2nd T20I.
India A squad for tri-series: Shreyas Iyer (C), Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Vijay Shankar, K. Gowtham, Axar Patel, Krunal Pandya, Prasidh Krishna, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur
Shreyas Iyer will lead the India A side. Shaw and Gill are the 2 players who have got call-ups to the India A side from the U-19 Indian team. Agarwal, Gowtham, Prasidh, and Ahmed were called-up due to an impressive domestic season. Deepak Chahar will also look to impress the selectors as he also has a good IPL season behind him. The main player to watch out for is Krunal Pandya. If he has an above average tour of England then his Indian call-up won’t be far away. As he has repeatedly proved it in the IPL that he is a big match player and a handy player with both Bat and Ball.
India A squad for four-day games: Karun Nair (C), R. Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Ankit Bawne, Vijay Shankar, KS Bharat (wk), Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ankit Rajpoot, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Rajneesh Gurbani
Karun Nair will lead the side for the 4-day games. Unlike Gill, Shaw has been picked up for the four-day games as well as the limited over games. Vijay Shankar, Agarwal, Vihari are few of the other players who have been picked in both the squads. All these players will be hoping to have a good tour as the selectors will surely be watching and a groundbreaking tour may also result in an instant India call-up.
Although many were surprised when Pant was not picked in the T20I side, he is still young and has plenty of opportunities to prove himself. This is an exciting squad as this will shape the next generation of cricket in India. Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section.