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From Suryakumar to Pant – Players unlucky to miss out from India’s squads for Australia tour

From Pant To Pandya – Players Unlucky To Miss Out From India Squads For Australia
by Sankalp Srivastava 5 minute read

BCCI announced the India squads for all three formats for the upcoming tour to Australia on Tuesday, October 26. Here, we pick out the players we think were unlucky to miss out on a spot in any of the three sides.

The likes of Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were unfortunate to have suffered an injury during IPL 2020, which resulted in their non-selection for the tour but there are a few stars who deserved to make one of the squads but didn’t despite being fit and in decent form.

Some players, on the other hand, haven’t been in the best of forms but perhaps needed a longer rope and another chance to prove their worth. The following list is a combination of those in-form players and the ones who should have been handed the opportunity to have another go.

Suryakumar Yadav (T20I)

Possibly the unluckiest player on the list, Suryakumar Yadav has been scoring runs for fun in the IPL but is yet to make his India debut. In 2018, he scored 512 runs while in 2019 he accumulated another 423 runs. Yadav has picked up form in the ongoing season as well after a slow start and is Mumbai Indians’ third highest run-getter after Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan. But an India call up still eludes him.

Ravichandran Ashwin (T20I)

Ashwin last represented India in limited-overs cricket in 2017 but he has shown enough spark in the last two IPL seasons to be considered for a spot in the India T20I side. In 2019 he finished with 15 wickets while representing Kings XI Punjab and has raced his way to eight wickets in nine matches for Delhi Capitals this season. He continues to be the shrewd off-spinner that he always has been and would have added another dimension to India’s spin attack in T20Is in Australia, keeping in mind the bounce he can extract from pitches Down Under. But the selectors instead went with Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy.

Rahul Chahar (T20I)

Rahul Chahar hasn’t put a foot wrong for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020. He has already matched his tally of 13 wickets from the last IPL season and has led the defending champions’ spin attack without breaking much of a sweat. The leg-spinner has conceded runs at an economy of 7.56, only second to Jasprit Bumrah in the MI attack. But the presence of Chahal, who is much experienced and a similar bowler who likes to toss the ball up and attack batsmen, might have played a part in Chahar’s non-selection.

Kuldeep Yadav (T20I)

The left-arm spinner has had disappointing last couple of seasons in the IPL, playing 14 matches for just five wickets, but even then, his T20I record speaks for itself. With 39 wickets in 21 T20Is, Kuldeep has taken at least a wicket in all but two of those matches and is also one of the only four Indian bowlers to have taken five or more wickets in a T20I innings. But as is the case with many spinners, he unluckily missed out on a spot in the India T20I side for the tour of Australia.

Axar Patel (T20I)

Among Indian bowlers, only Washington Sundar (5.72) has conceded runs at a rate lower than Axar Patel’s in the ongoing IPL 2020 (5.78). On top of that, he has taken eight wickets, playing a crucial part in Delhi Capitals’ much-improved performances this season. Axar last played international cricket for India in 2018 but perhaps deserved a spot in the T20I side that will travel to Australia in November.

Krunal Pandya (T20I)

Another spinner on the list, Krunal Pandya has done no harm to his reputation in the IPL but wasn’t considered good enough to make the cut. Jadeja, who has taken a wicket fewer than Pandya this season, was preferred mainly because of the massive improvement in his performances with the bat over the last year.

Rishabh Pant (ODI and T20I)

The jury is out on Pant. The wicketkeeper-batsman hasn’t been the most consistent of players in the Indian cricket circuit and despite being presented with multiple chances to prove his worth, he has failed in coloured clothing by and large.

In the ongoing IPL as well, Pant has scored 217 runs without a single 50+ score at a disappointing strike-rate of 117.29 in eight matches, a significant drop when compared to his overall IPL strike-rate of 155.99. But otherwise, he is still one of the most explosive batsmen India have and possibly he has become the victim of altering his approach following calls from various quarters for him to take fewer risks.

That he picked up an injury during the tournament only worsened his case. With KL Rahul the only recognised wicketkeeper in the ODI squad, India could have done with Pant, who is unlucky to miss out due to the injury and the uncharacteristic approach that he has taken this season.

Maybe a switch back to his usual carefree self could change things? We’ll have to wait and see.

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