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A resurgence of wrist spinners in the team ahead of Windies home series

BCCI India, Six Sports

India‘s home series against West Indies and Sri Lanka will be seeing a lot of wrist-spinners in action. Kuldeep Yadav will make his comeback to the team after a long time and he will pair up again with his partner Yuzvendra Chahal and thus ‘KulCha’ will rule the spin department once again.

Rohit Sharma will be back from his injury and lead the team against the West Indies.

Although Ashwin was brought back in white-ball cricket after the T20 World Cup and was a part of the ODI series against South Africa, he was not considered for the home series. The reason given was that the senior off-spinner has suffered an injury.

But the BCCI did not mention any of this.

Meanwhile, Bumrah and Shami will enjoy some much-needed rest and Ravindra Jadeja will be once again fit and available after he completes his final round of recovery.

According to reports, the selection meeting held on Wednesday went on for a long time. Chetan Sharma and his committee members mulled over options after the drastic 3-0 loss to South Africa.

Rahul Dravid and stand-in captain KL Rahul suggested changes to the committee and they also went ahead to use wrist-spinners in the upcoming series. Thus, came the reappearance of ‘KulCha’ who took Indian cricket to great heights after the 2017 Champions Trophy.

Kuldeep had to undergo knee surgery last year in September. After he recovered, he was asked by the selectors to play a few practice matches in Gurgaon. But whether the selectors kept a track of him there, it’s not known. But now he has been brought into the ODI squad. He last played in July against Sri Lanka at the latter’s venues.

Ravi Bishnoi has also earned his maiden call-up for India and thus the selection committee has now understood the importance of wrist-spin in a match’s middle-overs.

Bishnoi got his call-up on the basis of his superb performance for Punjab Kings in the IPL.

The return of Washington Sundar

After the South Africa tour, Dravid wanted a proper balance in the team and also spoke about the all-round options for India. So, Washington Sundar‘s return is a piece of happy news for India.

He was always the first-choice off-spinner for the T20Is but when he sustained a hand injury, Ashwin was given his place.

After his recovery, when he was all set to join the Indian team in South Africa, he got contracted with COVID which again left him out of the squad.

Sundar was always Kohli’s choice as captain during PowerPlays. He also has the ability to score big and quick down the order that has always given the team a proper balance.

Said Dravid,

Some of the guys who really help us balance the squad out and give us the all-round options at 6,7,8 are probably not here, not available for selections. So, hopefully when they get back, they will probably give us the depth to play in a slightly different style.

Another spinner plus all-rounder Deepak Hooda has made the cut into the Indian squad. So, until and unless Hardik Pandya is fit, the board and selection committee will have to rely on Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Washington, Hooda, and Axar Patel as all-rounder options.

Venkatesh Iyer did not find mentioned in the ODI squad and the selectors want to keep him only for T20Is.

Dravid added,

South Africa, who batted first on two occasions, only scored 290 and 280. At the 30th over in both those games, I felt we should have chased them down. We didn’t because we played some poor shots and we didn’t play smart cricket in critical situations.

It is also known that Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also facing a decline. He will only play T20Is.

The squads for the ODIs and T20Is are as follows-

ODI Squad:- Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan

T20I Squad:- Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel

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