The Indian team for the New Zealand series was announced and there were plenty of surprises. Here are some potential mistakes that the selectors have made:
Indian ODI squad to face New Zealand: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzi Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.
Dropping KL Rahul:
Though Rahul was not in the best of form in the Sri Lanka series, he did not get a chance to feature in even one game during the ODI series and T20s against Australia. It would have been interesting to see how he would have performed on home soil, considering his great record in India.
Rahul will definitely be upset about the omission but knows that he has to work hard to get back to the team.
Picking Manish Pandey:
Manish Pandey seems to have a lot of luck as he is still considered for the New Zealand tour after having been below average in the number 4 position. His place is the only one that looks like it is under threat and Ajinkya Rahane knows that he has an opportunity in his hands.
Pandey will look to reconcile and play well against the Kiwis if he wants to cement his spot at the number 4, but it will challenging.
Dropping Ashwin and Jadeja:
While Chahal and Kuldeep have been performing way above everyone’s expectations with the ball, unceremoniously dropping the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin means that the selectors are sending out a strong message that they are choosing youth over experience.
Jadeja and Ashwin have been stellar performers for India for so many years and to not feature in the third series in a row will definitely sting. They could still perform with the bat as their replacements are not great with that aspect of the game. The selectors might have missed a trick on this one but it at least shows they are ready to take brave decisions.
No place for Rishabh Pant
The selectors decided to go with Dinesh Karthik as the back-up wicketkeeper-batsman. While it is true that Karthik has done in the opportunities he has be given in the recent past but if India want to groom a wicketkeeper who will take MS Dhoni’s place after he decides to hang his boots, then they must show some more faith in Rishabh Pant and keep him in and around the squad.