The ultimate test for this young Indian side to face Down Under is finally out in the fold! BCCI selectors announced a 19-member squad to face Australia with some new faces in the side.
The ultimate test for this young Indian side to face Down Under is finally out in the fold!
BCCI selectors announced a 19-member squad to face Australia with some new faces in the side.
Even as India captain MS Dhoni will miss the first Test on the tour of Australia due to a thumb injury, there might be a chance for Virat Kohli to make a rare appearance as skipper.
After a horrendous Test outing in England, the selectors have dropped Stuart Binny, Gautam Gambhir, Pankaj Singh and Ishwar Pandey and roped in Karnataka’s in-form young opener KL Rahul, talented Railways leg-spinner Karn Sharma and Madhya Pradesh wicketkeeper batsman Naman Ojha for the four-Test tour.
But the most surprising news to emerge from the team selection was the emergence of Suresh Raina in the longer format. Raina has been a revelation in the ODI team but has struggled to fit into the Test arena. Citing the current form in the 50-over format, the selectors have put faith in the southpaw who last played a Test in 2012.
With the inclusion of Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, the pace batteries are in-check as far as the pitch conditions are concerned.
Now coming to the new recruit, KL Rahul. The 22-year-old from Karnataka amassed 1035 runs in the last Ranji season, finishing as the second highest run-scorer after Kedar Jadhav. Knocks of 185 and 130 in the recent Duleep Trophy, might have caught the eye of the selectors who are looking to add some variety in the Indian batting order after seeing the likes of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara fail in England.
Furthermore, Rahul also has the experience of playing on Aussie conditions as he had opened for India A in a recent tour Down Under.
Karn Sharma has caught the eye ever since coming into promise with the IPL. The 27-year-old, who has already played a Twenty20 International for India in England, has grabbed 11 wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 6.60 in the IPL seasons for the Hyderabad Sunrisers. Naman Ojha, too, has performed well over the years in the IPL circuit and also on the domestic front. A wicket-keeper cum batsman, Ojha has scored four centuries on the trot, including three in Australia.
But coming to the conclusion, will MS Dhoni and the team management give these new names a chance? The stubborn and rigid ways of Dhoni and Fletcher have derailed India’s hopes in the Test arena over the years and not to forget, the 4-0 thrashing is still afresh.
A positive impact could be Ravi Shastri and perhaps the former India skipper could invigorate a passion amongst some ‘dead souls’.