BCCI announced the squad for the two-day test against New Zealand. The first match will start on November 25 in Kanpur, while the second match will take place from December 3 in Mumbai. Some seniors have been rested, including Virat Kohli, who will return for the second fight. In this article, we take a look at five players unlucky to lose the test team for the New Zealand series.
India test team: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket keeper), KS Bharat (wicket keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj and Prasidh Krishna.
1) Hanuma Vihari – He was excluded from the test team for the New Zealand Series
Hanuma Vihari is one of the unfortunate players to lose the test team for the New Zealand series. The right hitter has been a part of Team India for some time. However, the opportunities were limited. So, with some rested elders, it was only natural that he should be given a chance. Incredibly, his name was not found on the team. There was an outrage on Twitter and, afterwards, the BCCI announced that he would be part of India’s A team.
2) Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur was not included in the test team. Not sure if it was dropped or rested. However, with cricketers like Ravindra Jadeja also a part of the team, it seems Thakur may, after all, not be rested. Having done well recently in England, he must have been given a chance so he can cement his place in the squad. The Mumbai cricketer did not have this opportunity.
3) Jaydev Unadkat – A well deserved chance on the New Zealand Series test team
Jaydev Unadkat was one of the best in the previous Ranji Trophy. He has been doing well for a few years. The Saurashtra captain has also been contributing decently with the bat in recent seasons. India needs left arm seamers and with Jaydev doing well on Indian fields, he should have tried it. He also found his missing name on the final squad.
4) Jalaj Saxena
Jalaj Saxena is also one of the unfortunate players to lose the test team for the New Zealand series. Jayant Yadav was selected for the tournament, but Jalaj performed well in the Ranji Trophy. He is also a more established hitter than Jayant. Yes, Ashwin will definitely play both games, but Jalaj could have become a better player with the experience of sharing the Indian dressing room.
5) Sheldon Jackson
Rishabh Pant should have been rested for this series. Hence, the likes of KS Bharat had a chance. Although the inclusion of Bharat was justified, it is not sure whether the incorporation of Wriddhiman Saha would benefit India in the long term. Sheldon Jackson is also of a similar age group, but offers more with the bat than Saha. Thus, it could have been considered.