Hardik Pandya out as Selectors Hit T20I Reset Button
Indian cricket is all set to press the reset button with a new T20 squad chosen for the series against New Zealand that starts on 17th November in Jaipur. The ‘A’ squad all set to go on the South Africa tour in the final week of November has been selected as well. The all-new coach-captain pair of Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma have begun the tenure with a number of rather tough calls.
While Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, and Virat Kohli are not in the team, Hardik Pandya is also out of the squad for now. Varun Chakravarthy might have generated a lot of hype before the T20 Cricket World Cup, but he has not found a place in the squad either. Yuzvendra Chahal is all set to make a comeback by replacing Rahul Chahar.
On the other hand, Venkatesh Iyer, the sensational player of the UAE leg of the IPL, now has his maiden opportunity to play for Team India, alongside Harshal Patel. Besides, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has received another opportunity to show his skills, while the future looks pretty uncertain for Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur.
The management and selectors might have chosen Chakravarthy to play T20 cricket because of his mystery element, even though he is carrying several injuries at present. However, he could not do much against top teams like New Zealand and Pakistan. Rahul Dravid, being the head of NCA and the head coach of the developmental sides, has always been a strong supporter of cricketers coming through the proper system.
Hardik Goes out and Venkatesh Iyer Comes in
Depending solely on Pandya as an all-rounder has been proven wrong. The selectors might have felt that Pandya does not deserve a place in the squad solely as a batsman. Now, the focus is more on budding batsmen who can also bowl in the arena of white-ball cricket.
Naturally, Venkatesh Iyer has edged past the likes of Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw. However, it is also expected that Iyer will be trained to bat in the team in the middle order as the opening slot already has several options.
Searching for Red-Ball Wicket-Keepers
Though it is a given that Kohli will keep being the Test captain, the new team management will probably make several changes to the Test team. Dravid has been looking for wicket-keepers who can serve as a backup for Rishabh Pant. More importantly, the selected also have retained the same team for at least two Test series.
They might decide to have KS Bharat in the Test squad in place of Wriddhiman Saha. He has been on the bench ever since he got dropped following the Adelaide Test in December 2020. Bharat had a pretty impressive run in recent IPL matches and he has been a part of the ‘A’ teams of India. However, instead of him, the selectors have chosen Upendra Yadav as a wicket-keeper.
Putting the Middle Order Under Scanner in Tests
Now, at cric-life.com, we also feel that Shubman Gill might be sent to bat in the team’s middle order. In case Rohit agrees to play in the Test series, he might get the position of vice-captain of the team. As the South Africa tour will follow the New Zealand series, it is high time for the selectors to decide whether they should get a new middle order to play before going abroad.
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