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New selection panel makes some interesting decisions on India's T20I squad for WI tour

India tour of West Indies 2023: New selection panel makes some interesting decisions on India's T20I squad for WI tour. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma get their maiden India call.

Yashashvi Jaiswal gets maiden call for T20Is on India tour of West Indies |  Walking Wicket (Images_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Jaiswal gets maiden call for T20Is on India tour of West Indies (Images: ©ICC/Twitter)

India’s first assignment post the World Test Championship Final 2023 debacle is the tour of West Indies where the men in blue will play 2 Tests, 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is. While the Test team is already in the Caribbean too prepare for the 2-match series starting on July 12, the T20I team was announced by the BCCI selection committee a few days back.

It was also the first major squad selection for the new BCCI selection committee headed by former India pacer Ajit Agarkar who has joined Shiv Sundar Das, Subroto Banerjee, Salil Ankola and Sridharan Sharath in the panel. And they have picked a new look squad for the T20I series for the West Indies tour; the 15-member team will be led by IPL winning skipper Hardik Pandya who will have the world No. 1 T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav as his deputy.

India’s T20I squad: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya (C), Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar

Squad Analysis

Selectors have selected a young and vibrant team

When we look at the squad, at first glance, we see plenty of fresh faces, those who have done pretty well in the recently concluded IPL and in the domestic circuit.

In the batting department, the left-hander Yashasvi Jaiswal gets his maiden T20I call-up after impressing everyone in the IPL, just weeks after his maiden Test call-up. He was named the emerging player of the season after amassing a massive 625 runs in IPL 2023. Likewise, the Mumbai Indians new found sensation Tilak Varma too found a place in the squad after couple of exceptional domestic seasons and a stellar run in the IPL.

While Jaiswal might not get a game straightway thanks to the presence of Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill, Tilak may fit into the middle order after performing a similar role with Mumbai Indians (MI) this past edition of IPL.

Also, Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson makes a deserved comeback to the team after missing out in the last series.

No place for Rinku Singh

Yes, there have been fresh faces in the team but at the same time, there are heartbreaking non-selections. Jitesh Sharma performed admirably well as a middle order batter for Punjab Kings and was expected to get selected but he didn’t find a place here.

Rinku Singh, whose finishing prowess took the world and IPL by storm, has also been ignored. There is plenty of time left before the T20 World Cup 2024 and one might think their chance would definitely come.

Sundar and Gaikwad dropped?

Other notable omissions are that of Ruturaj Gaidwad and Washington Sundar. The former found a place in the Test and ODI squad but missed the cut for the T20I series. Perhaps, the selectors are looking at him as a prospect in the longer versions going forward and more specifically for the world cup.

Sundar by the look of things is dropped as he is injury prone and might have to go through the hard grind in the domestic circuit to make a comeback.

In the bowling department, Axar Patel takes the role of the all-rounder and has seemingly replaced Sundar while the selectors have included young leggie Ravi Bishnoi along with veteran Yuzvendra Chahal. Kuldeep Yadav also makes a comeback to the T20I setup and now the squad looks interesting.

In the fast bowling department, the selectors have placed their faith on youngsters and Arshdeep Singh will lead the pace attack which consists of thunderbolt pacer Umran Malik along with Avesh Khan who has featured for India previously. There is also uncapped Mukesh Kumar who has been included in the team.

Overall, the squad looks very young and a little inexperienced at the international level. But there is still time for the T20 World Cup and the selectors have gone with a futuristic approach.

India vs Australia, 3rd T20I, Highlights_ Suryakumar Yadav-Virat Kohli added 104 runs for 4th wicket against Australia in 3rd T20I (Photo_ ©ICC_Getty Images)
Kohli haven't played a single T20I post 2022 T20WC (Photo: ©ICC/Twitter)

Time up for stars in T20Is?

There is no place for star players and usual suspects like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in the team. They have not featured in the squad since the last World T20 and one may get a feel that India have moved past them when it comes to the T20I format but at the same time, we need to look at the international assignments.

There is an ICC ODI World Cup scheduled to happen in India in the month of October and all these players are a vital cog in the team. So, this T20I squad selection could be an experiment as well as they need maximum players as part of the system. Or they might be looking past them in this format.

India’s potential playing XI for the first T20I vs West Indies

Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Sanju Samson, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya (C), Axar Patel, Yuzuvendra Chahal, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh


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