India have announced the squads for their ODI and T20I series against West Indies
Coming off the back of a 3-0 ODI series loss to South Africa, India are looking to bounce back strong, especially with Cricket World Cup Super League points on offer in the ODIs. India made several changes to their squad, with three uncapped players selected – Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Hooda.
The left-arm wrist-spinner had a topsy-turvy month. He was named as the skipper of Uttar Pradesh for the Ranji Trophy but the event had to be postponed given the Covid-19 situation in the country. However, he still managed to win a recall to the India ODI squad. The reasoning has little to do with his recent form (given that he last played in July and averages 57.42 with the ball in ODIs since August, 2019) but the fact that India’s R Ashwin experiment didn’t work out as hoped.
Still this is a big call, given that the UP player hasn’t played a single competitive encounter in nearly six months.
This time last year, Hooda’s career was at crossroads, for he had just been suspended from the Baroda side for indiscipline. Now he finds himself in the India squad. He joined Rajasthan and did well for them in the domestic season, with this selection hinting at the idea that India might be looking to back spin all-rounders for the home World Cup next year.
The leg-spinner didn’t set the world on fire in South Africa (two wickets at 73.5), yet continues to find a place in the India squad. While there’s always the prospect of Ravi Bishnoi challenging him for a spot, Chahal’s selection is still being questioned by some. Since August 2019, he has picked up 15 wickets in ODIs at an average of 36.4, a far cry from his career average of 27. 87.
Despite being hailed as India’s mystery spinner time and again before the T20 World Cup, Varun finds himself missing from the T20 side. The right-armer had an indifferent run in the World Cup and got injured before the final game. He hasn’t played since and there was no clarification if he had been dropped or missed out due to an injury.
The Tamil Nadu player has been in the form of his life in limited overs cricket and it was a surprise to find that the player didn’t find a place in either squad. He batted at a strike-rate of 151.87 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021/22, and 253 runs at a mind-boggling strike-rate of 186. A home T20I or ODI series could’ve been a great chance to field this middle-order player.
Rishi Dhawan, the Vijay Hazare Trophy-winning all-rounder also missed out on an India place. The side was looking for a fast bowling all-rounder not too long back, but it seems that they have given up on that idea, with the Venkatesh Iyer experiement ending in ODIs. Still one has to feel for the Himachal player who scored 458 runs at a strike-rate of 127 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and picked 17 wickets in the competition at a healthy average of 23.35
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