After much hullabaloo, the selection of the Indian team for the West Indies tour has been done today I.e on Sunday in Mumbai and along with the five-wise men - led by M.S.K. Prasad. Even skipper Virat Kohli was also physically present in the meeting.
Coming to the selection meeting, while the mystery over M.S. Dhoni and his future was solved on Saturday morning as the former India skipper informed the board that he is taking a 2-month sabbatical, all eyes were on the selectors to see if they started the process of preparing for the 2023 World Cup from this tour itself.
After all, good teams start preparing no sooner than one campaign gets over. England did just that after being ousted in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
While Kohli has decided to now make himself available for the tour, there are still quite a few fresh faces, especially after a gruelling season that saw the Indian players first play the Indian Premier League and then the World Cup 2019.
Starting with the T20I side, the batting at the top wears a similar look with Shikhar Dhawan coming back at the top. But Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey have been brought back in the middle-order. The spin department sees the call-up of Rahul Chahar for what has been a quality show in the Indian Premier League. The pace bowling department also has a fresh look with Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini in the squad giving Bhuvneshwar Kumar company.
Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.
In the ODI squad, it has been the biggest surprise as Kedar Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav have both been given another go. After a poor show in the World Cup, it was expected that the selectors would look at fresh faces, but clearly, the five wise men don't think on the same lines. Bhuvneshwar again has Khaleel and Saini for company while Mohammed Shami is back in the ODI squad after the selectors decided to rest him for the T20Is.
Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini.
The Test squad also has almost the same look from the last time with most of them picking themselves and Bumrah coming back for the Test Championship. With Rohit doing well in the last series against Australia, he has also retained his place in the middle-order. Umesh Yadav has been backed as the fourth pacer behind Ishant Sharma, Bumrah and Mohammed Shami while Bhuvneshwar has missed out.
India's Squad For 2 Tests
Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, C Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK) Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.
Indians will first play the limited-overs series - three T20Is and three ODIs between August 3 and August 14 - before starting their campaign in the Test championship with two Tests in Antigua and Jamaica.