New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) With many of the senior players expected to be rested for the upcoming West Indies tour, where India will be playing three T20Is and as many ODIs apart from two Test matches, quite a number of fresh faces are likely to make the squad, especially for the limited-overs leg.
The selection committee will on Sunday announce the squad and IANS takes a look at five players who are strong contenders to make it to the team:
Manish Pandey has made a strong case for himself to return to the national side owing to his form during the India ‘A’ tour of West Indies. He notched up an 87-ball century against West Indies A in the third unofficial ODI in Antigua and showed signs of returning back to form. The right-handed batsman had a successful IPL season this year with 344 runs in 12 matches. He last played for India in the T20I home series against Windies in November 2018 but failed to show his skills.
Shubman Gill, who is also a part of the India ‘A’ side touring West Indies, has also been in good touch in the recent times. Gill had scores of 62 and 77 in his last two games for India ‘A’ against West Indies ‘A’. He was also in impressive form in the last two seasons of the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He made his international debut earlier this year in the ODI series in New Zealand.
There, he was not able to make much of an impact as he managed only one run from two matches. Having said that, Shubman seems to have the temperament and the skill set required to perform at the international level and as Dav Whatmore said, he can solve the no.4 conundrum for the Men in Blue in ODIs.
With Kuldeep Yadav likely to be rested, young spinner Rahul Chahar can be included in the side for the Windies tour, especially for the limited-overs leg. Rahul impressed in this year’s IPL edition where he picked up 13 wickets in 13 games and was a key figure in Mumbai India’s triumph. In fact, if the selectors decide to hand Yuzvendra Chahal some rest, then even Shreyas Gopal has an outside chance to come in.
As it is almost certain that Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be rested for the tour, the pace bowling attack can see the inclusion of Navdeep Saini. Saini has been in top form in the ongoing India ‘A’ tour against West Indies ‘A’ he picked up a five-wicket haul in one of the three matches. The right-arm pacer has travelled twice alongside Bumrah and Co, for the South Africa series at the beginning of last year and most recently, during the World Cup. However, he could not get the big news on both the occasions. However, things can possibly go in his favour this time around.
Left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed, who has already featured in eight ODIs and nine T20Is, has also presented a strong case for his selection by his performance in the ongoing India ‘A’ tour. In the three unofficial ODIs that have been played so far, Khaleel has nabbed four wickets and has kept a tight lid on the scoring rate, conceding only 2.82 runs an over. In the 2019 IPL, he had picked 19 wickets in nine matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad and made sure he keeps the selectors interested.
(Aakash Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])