By India Today Sports Desk: India announced squads for the upcoming Test and ODI series against the West Indies in July, introducing several new faces to the team. Among the fresh additions are IPL stars Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Mukesh Kumar.
The selection of Ruturaj and the appointment of Ajinkya Rahane as vice-captain have sparked controversy among fans and experts alike. Former India cricketer Abhinav Mukund expressed his disappointment through a tweet, questioning the incentive for players to represent their state teams.
In his tweet, Mukund stated, "Unable to understand these selections - too many thoughts in my head to compile into a tweet. But what is the incentive for a young player to take pride in playing for his state anymore? Clearly, the franchise route is a faster way to scale the grade."
The Test squad saw the omission of Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav, reigniting discussions about a transition phase in the team. Additionally, Mohammed Shami, the pace spearhead, has been rested for the Test and ODI series in the Caribbean. The four-member national selection panel, led by interim chief selector Shiv Sundar Das, finalised the squads during a meeting on Thursday.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah, while announcing the squads on Friday, revealed that the T20I squad for the West Indies tour in August would be announced at a later date. However, no explanation was provided for the changes made in the current squad.
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have been identified as the potential successors in India's top order, with one of them possibly making their debut in the series opener on July 12. Navdeep Saini, who previously featured in the unofficial Tests against Bangladesh A and had a solid outing in the Irani Cup against Madhya Pradesh, has earned a call-up to the Test team.
In the ODI squad, Sanju Samson has benefited from KL Rahul's injury, raising the question of whether he will be preferred over Ishan Kishan as the primary wicketkeeper. The selection decisions have caused a stir in the cricketing community, and all eyes will be on the new faces as India embark on their West Indies tour.