India will resume their preparations for the ODI World Cup 2023 with a 3-One Da Internationals series in West Indies. The all-format tour in July-August will comprise 2 Tests, 3 One Day Internationals, and will conclude with 5 T20Is.
This is another opportunity for Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid to settle on their World Cup 2023 squad, although India will miss some of the key players in KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah, while Mohammed Shami is also rested. This 50 over series gives a chance to the fringe players such as Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, and Shardul Thakur, and leg-spinner Chahal and Kuldeep to stake a claim for their selection in the World Cup squad.
There are a couple of surprise selections in India’s ODI squad for West Indies series as well:
The selection of Mukesh Kumar in the Test squad was expected, but his selection in the OneDay squad has come out of nowhere because he hasn’t been part of any One Day setup so far. Mukesh has an ordinary and inexperienced record in List-A cricket: 26 wickets in 24 List-A matches at a bowling average of 37 and strike rate of 44.
In the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well, Mukesh didn’t move the ground much: 9 wickets in 6 games. Kumar had his first proper IPL stint this season for Delhi Capitals – he snapped 7 wickets in 10 games and leaked at an expensive economy of 10.51. So Mukesh getting an India call-up for 50 overs squad while Arshdeep Singh is ignored didn’t sit right with the fans.
31-year-old Jaydev Unadkat has played 7 One Day Internationals matches, all in 2013, picking up 8 wickets. Yes, even as Unadkat is a much better bowler than he was decade ago, as he got a comeback in the Test squad last year, picking Unadkat over Arshdeep as the left-arm pacer in One Day Internationals squad is baffling.
Even though Unadkat has more experience of List-A cricket than Arshdeep, the youngster has been in phenomenal form in white-ball cricket since last year, and has impressed in the most competitive T20 league in the world, the IPL, showcasing both his impressive new ball skills and, more importantly, his death bowling skills, which is amongst the best in India. Unadkat has issues with containing runs and potency threats in white-ball cricket, thus his call-up in the One Day setup is puzzling
India ODI Squad for WI series: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar.