Mumbai, Nov 21 (The Street Press India) – On Monday, the national selectors chose a group of young talents led by Suryakumar Yadav to take on Australia in the upcoming five-match T20I series, starting November 23 in Visakhapatnam.
Following a demanding ODI World Cup, India opted for a youthful 15-member squad for the T20Is, featuring only Suryakumar Yadav, pacer Prasidh Krishna, and wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan from the senior players.
The selectors believed that these three players haven’t been involved in enough cricket to require workload management at this point.
Middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer is set to join the team for the final two matches in Raipur and Bengaluru, taking on the vice-captain’s responsibility from Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Axar Patel secures a spot in the squad after recovering from a left quadriceps injury that sidelined him during the recent quadrennial event.
The left-arm spinner made a comeback to competitive cricket last month, representing Gujarat in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He participated in two matches against Punjab and Railways.
The younger players in the squad bring significant top-level cricket experience, having been part of the Indian squad for the three-match T20I series against Ireland and later representing the country in the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
The selection of players was primarily based on their impressive performances in two consecutive IPL seasons, and the chosen squad members boast a track record that reflects this success.
Despite strong performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, batters Riyan Parag, Abhishek Sharma, and veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar did not secure a place in the squad.
Although Bhuvneshwar Kumar demonstrated excellent performance in the SMAT with 16 wickets from seven matches at an impressive economy of 5.84, the selectors expressed concern about a significant drop in his pace, barely averaging 130 kmph.
Parag and Sharma were strong contenders following their outstanding performances in the SMAT. Parag, representing Assam, emerged as the top run-scorer in the tournament, accumulating 510 runs from 10 matches, featuring seven fifties and a striking strike rate of 182.
Punjab left-hander Sharma, a valuable left-arm spinner, stood as the second-highest run-getter in the SMAT, amassing 485 runs from 10 matches. His impressive record included two centuries, three fifties, and a remarkable strike rate of 192.
The decision-makers believed that although these two players showed promise, they should demonstrate greater consistency in the IPL to earn a spot in the national side.
Sanju Samson may have been anticipating a spot in the squad, but the Kerala batsman was notably absent from the selection.
Possibly, his subdued performance in the SMAT might have led the selectors to temporarily overlook him for the squad.
Samson contributed a modest 138 runs from eight matches, maintaining an average of 27, and his strike-rate hovered around 145. Despite scoring two fifties in the event, his overall performance might have influenced the selectors’ decision.
Nevertheless, Samson will have an opportunity to make an impression on the selectors in the upcoming Vijay Hazare one-day tournament as he leads Kerala.
The team for the series will be under the guidance of former India batsman VVS Laxman as the head coach.
- Captain: Suryakumar Yadav
- Vice-Captain: Ruturaj Gaikwad
- Players: Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.