The BCCI strongly felt a need for depth in squad players, and necessary back-ups, given India’s tendency to pick up an injury or two on a long tour away.
The ODI squad for the 5 match series against Sri Lanka was named today and there are notable decisions that have been made.
The interesting omissions
The notable omission is Yuvraj Singh, who has struggled to find form at the crease. He recently blazed 150 against England but he hasn’t been able to maintain consistent performances. The other notable omissions are the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, and the pace of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. With no more Test series between now and Sri Lanka at home in November, and then a crucial trip to South Africa in January, are they giving them a break to get fit for the long tour, or are they trying to fit in new faces so that they have depth in their squad?
The BCCI strongly felt a need for depth in squad players and necessary back-ups. Indian squads have a habit of picking up injuries during a long away tour, most notably during tours of England in 2011 and 2014.
Now to look into the players who have been included in the squad, apart from the regular faces, in more detail.
The BCCI have included a new face in international cricket in Shardul Thakur. He has come off impressive performances in the IPL for Rising Pune Supergiant where he picked up 11 wickets in 12 games. He also impressed in the India A tour of South Africa, picking up 9 wickets and ended up as the highest-wicket taker for India A in the series which helped them lift the Tri-series trophy.
Manish Pandey, who has come from leading the India-A side to glory in South Africa, scoring 307 runs, last played in the New Zealand series when he struggled. He didn’t feature in the England series or the ICC Champions Trophy and hopefully, he can use this series to secure his spot in the long-term. KL Rahul has come back after a long injury layoff that began after the Australia home series and made a comeback against Sri Lanka in the second Test. He has played little ODI cricket, although he made a stunning century against West Indies in Florida chasing around 230 in a T20, almost winning the game for India.
Yuzvendra Chahal fared decently for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, and also performed well in the India A tour of South Africa, picking up six wickets at a good average of 28.16. He also claimed a six-for against England in Bangalore not so long ago.
Axar Patel, like Manish Pandey, played his last ODI in the New Zealand series, also enters the series on the back of a good performance in South Africa with the A team, taking 7 wickets and scoring crucial runs.
Players on the fringe
Three players were selected based on A team form, with Siddarth Kaul unlucky to miss out after taking 9 wickets. Shreyas Iyer, the prolific youngster who had a good IPL season and performed well in the A tour with the bat, has also missed out. These two will surely feature in the squad for the Australia or the New Zealand series.
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