Ahead of the upcoming Sri Lanka series the BCCI announced the T20 and Test Squads. Out of form Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane have been dropped after they couldn’t capitalize on the rope that was extended to them by the board and the team administration for during the South African series. Meanwhile, hitman Rohit Sharma has been named the captain for both the white-ball and the red-ball format.
Sharma’s appointment as the captain for both Test and T20 teams comes after Virat Kohli’s unceremonious stepping down as captain of the team. Interestingly, the board showed that it sees pacer Jasprit Bumrah as team captain in future with him being named the vice-captain for both the test and T20 squads. Team India will be playing Sri Lanka at home. The two teams will lock horns in a 3 Test-series and 3 T20I-series.
The Facts of the Matter
After their inconsistent and disastrous performance in the past year or so, the Board of Cricket Control of India has dropped Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara from newly picked T20 and Test squads. The squads are picked for their upcoming battle with Sri Lankan lions in India that’s set to start on February 24 with the first T20 game of the total 3 T20Is.
A Look at Ajinkya Rahane & Cheteshwar Pujara’s Form
Ajinkya Rahane played 13 Tests in 2021 and was on field for 23 times with his bat. He was able to score only 479 runs with an abysmal average of 20.83. His partner-in-crime Cheteshwar Pujara has an equally underwhelming record to show. In 2021, he played 14 Test matches and was on field for 26 innings. However, he could only score 702 runs at an average of 28 runs.
Ajinkya Rahane has a significant burden to bear as he was also the captain of the Indian team that recently toured South Africa and faced a 3-0 white wash in both Test and T20.
BCCI Rejigs: Wriddhiman Saha in, Ishant Sharma Out, Bumrah Vice Captain
As such, the BCCI has rightfully decided to rejig the arrangement and announced the new squad for the upcoming series that’s scheduled to be played against Sri Lanka. As expected, both Rahane and Pujara have been dropped. Interestingly, the board has also included wicket-keeper batter Wriddhaman Saha in the squad.
India’s Pace Attack Issues
India’s pace attack will again miss experienced bowler Ishant Sharma who thrived well under Virat Kohli’s captainship in the past few years. While pacer Ishant is not in the squad, pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been given the opportunity to play the role of vice-captain.
Meanwhile Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s lack of form continues being a big concern. Since the 2021 T20 World Cup that was held in UAE, Kumar has displayed poor form with the ball and has been going through a dry spell. However, the management has still chose to put faith on him and his experienced shoulders.
Baptism By Fire for Rohit Sharma
The series is likely to be a crucial one for opening batsman Rohit Sharma. It will be the first time Sharma will be adorning the captain’s cap during a Test match. Earlier, after Virat Kohli had stepped down from India’s Test captain following the team’s 2-1 loss against South Africa, several names were in contention.
This included Rishabh Pant, who has still not resolved the issues when it comes to his consistency, K.L. Rahul, who has not yet performed well as Punjab Kings captain. As players in contention need to work on themselves, the BCCI decided to go with Rohit Sharma and make him the captain across all formats.
Ind VS SL T20I Squad
Rohit Sharma, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Md Siraj, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan
Ind VS SL Test Squad
Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, R Pant, KS BharatR Ashwin (subject to fitness) , R Jadeja, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, J Bumrah (vc), Md. Shami, Md. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Saurabh Kumar