Surya makes it to Test team for Oz series, Shaw in for T20s vs NZ
The Indian captain recently made it clear he wants to continue playing all formats.
The newly appointed national selection committee led by Chetan Sharma gave Suryakumar Yadav a Test call-up and Ravindra Jadeja is set to return to action in the Border-Gavaskar trophy, starting Feb 9, after a long injury layoff of more than four months.
The all-rounder was named, subject to fitness, in the Rohit Sharma-led 17-member Indian Test squad for the first two Test matches (Nagpur and Delhi) against Australia.
While Bumrah’s back problems keep him away from the action, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat make up India’s pace attack.
Yadav, who has been in great form in T20 cricket, has been rewarded with his first opportunity to shine in Test cricket. He averages 44.75 in 79 first-class matches for Mumbai.
With Rishabh Pant still recuperating from his road accident, Yadav offers an aggressive batting option to the team in the middle order. Although, Shreyas Iyer’s important runs batting at No 5 are also not likely to go unrewarded. This means Mumbai’s domestic run-machine Sarfaraz Khan’s long wait for a Test cap continues.
K S Bharat who served as Pant’s backup in Bangladesh is expected to be asked to step up. With the concussion protocols in place, Ishan Kishan also gets a surprise red-ball call-up as the second wicket-keeping option.
The quick-scoring Mumbai opener Prithvi Shaw, fresh from his 379-run knock in the Ranji trophy tie against Assam has finally been rewarded with a place in India’s T20 squad against New Zealand. Shaw has only played one T20I for India but is one of the leading top-order ball strikers in the IPL having a strike rate of 147.45.
While KL Rahul and Axar Patel were unavailable for the 3 T2OIs and 3 ODIs against New Zealand, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli won't feature in the T20 matches.
Selectors to meet Rohit, Dravid
The selection committee will also have their first in-person meeting with captain Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid in Hyderabad on Monday.
The gathering holds importance amid talk of some of the seniors being phased out of India’s T20 team. The matter could come up for discussion after Rohit Sharma recently made it clear that he wanted to keep playing all forms of the game. “We will see what happens after IPL. I have not decided to give up the (T20) format," Rohit had said earlier this week.
“It’s an opportunity for the selectors to exchange notes with the team management. In fact, it’s Rohit who wanted an in-person meet,” a BCCI official said.
After back-to-back T20 World Cup failures for India marred by meek top-order batting performances, there’s a growing belief in the BCCI and the selection committee that a new-look batting order led by Hardik Pandya could be the way to go in the 2024 T20 World Cup. Despite changes in selection committee personnel, this line of thinking still prevails with Chetan Sharma continuing to be in charge.
However, it’s early days yet, with the next T20 World Cup, a year-and-a-half away. While Pandya has led India in all T20 matches after the last World Cup, the unofficial line is that Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are not being considered in T20Is, with the ODI World Cup being the priority, this year. “For now, Rohit is leading India in the ODI World Cup,” a top board official recently said.
“If they have a spectacular IPL, things could change,” said another BCCI source close to developments. In Kohli’s case, his big-match temperament could also be factored in.
Repeated breakdown of India’s fast-bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah’s recurring back troubles, and the planning for the World Test Championship final - should India make it - given its proximity to the IPL final will also come up for discussion.