The Board of Cricket Control in India finally announced the much-anticipated squad for India’s tour of Australia. Indian Premier League 2020 significantly impinged the selectors’ minds and the squad saw a good deal of impact from the ongoing T-20 extravaganza.
In a surprise move, Rohit Sharma was dropped from the squad as the Mumbai Indians skipper is currently nursing a hamstring injury. In another shocking axe, one of the most successful fast bowlers of India in recent times in the longer format of the game, especially Down Under, Ishant Sharma was also axed from the squad after the lanky pacer got hurt in the ribs as IPL continues in UAE.
India is scheduled to play four tests, three ODI’s and three T-20’s in Australia which will see the Indian national team returning to international duties after a hiatus of almost 8 months.
However, as per reports, BCCI’s medical team is going to monitor the progress of both the Sharmas so that in case if they are available before the series, there can be a few late inclusions.
KL Rahul who has stunned everyone in IPL, especially in the tricky surfaces of UAE, got the role of leadership as he was handed over the glove and also the vice-captaincy. Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill also got themselves awarded after exhibiting top-class performances in the fray.
KKR’s mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy, who sparked a rippling effect throughout the roster of IPL with 2020’s first 5-wicket haul against a soaring Delhi Capitals also got picked for the T-20’s. He replaced Kuldeep Yadav in the shortest format of the game.
Mohammad Siraj after a resonating show against KKR grabbed the limelight alongside his Bangalore teammate, Navdeep Saini who has been an absolute revelation of the tournament bowling regularly at 148 to 150 pus kays. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also not picked after he injured himself in the ongoing edition of IPL.
Here are the squads of India versus Australia:
Test squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya (vice-capt), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj.
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-capt/wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-capt/wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy
Players to watch out for in all the three squads:
Virat Kohli is one of the most successful batsmen down under and will be a massive name in carrying India’s impressive legacy in Australia since 2000 after Ganguly imbued the team with a winning mindset.
Prithvi Shaw also managed to notch a call-up in the national side with a few impressive performances in the IPL. Despite being vulnerable to crude pace and short balls, he is an expressive stroke player and if he gets going in the top, he can be a major man to flip the fortunes of the game.
Cheteshwar Pujara is touted to be the next Rahul Dravid of Indian test cricket. He has proven his mettle in the toughest circumstances that saw him biting on to the pitch right until the end and he simply never gets tired of batting. A brilliant stroke-player and a resilient cricketer, to say the least, Pujara will be a big thorn in the flesh of Australia.
Shubman Gill has shown it to the world that what seems to be the biggest challenge for even the greatest batsmen of the sport is his forte. He is a tremendous player of short balls and the way he grows in confidence and hammers some fine shots, he will be a big man for India in the shorter version of the game.
Shreyas Iyer has shown exemplary grit in the alien conditions of UAE. He is an attacker of the ball and he loves to play pace. Australia’s major weapon in the shorter format of the game will be their pace troika of Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell Starc. Iyer’s attacking approach can be a massive boost to India in the middle order.
Jasprit Bumrah is undoubtedly going to love bowling on the Australian surfaces. The pace, swing and bounce on offer for the fast bowlers in Australia make it a paradise for the express men to charge into. Bumrah is a relentless deliverer of yorkers in the death and a brutal kisser of the deck at speeds of 145-150 plus.
KL Rahul will undoubtedly be the main man of India’s attacking force when they clash with the titans in the latter’s den. Rahul has been in exquisite form and has shown the quality of the highest order with the bat. He has also matured over the course of the last few months and his stoic approach to the game with his leadership flair will be something absolutely new for the Australians to come across.
Ravindra Jadeja has been a consistent player for Chennai Super Kings and he has previously validated his class outside India, one of the most notable attempts of his heroics being that in the 2019 World Cup semi-final. He is currently India’s best all-rounder and will be a vital cog in Ravi Shahstri’s plans of dismantling Australia.
Navdeep Saini has been an absolute sensation with the ball in the hand and the fast bowler will be raring to bowl in the pitches of Australia those are deemed to be a paradise for the pacers. He lacks a bit in line and length but as he will be coming across the experience of Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, he will be maturing too, in order to hurt the mighty Aussies.