Dubai: India named three newcomers to the two-match Test series against the West Indies next month. Young openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal have been drafted into the squad on the back of some impressive performances in the recently concluded Indian Premier League Season 16 while Delhi Capitals medium-pacer Mukesh Kumar joins the five-men pace battery, which is without the experienced Jasprit Bumrah, who is yet to recover from injury, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav.
However, the biggest surprises are the dependable No 3 batter Chetshwar Pujara has been dropped while Ajinkya Rahane, who returned to the Indian Test team after 15-month absence during the World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval earlier this month, has been elevated as the vice-captain after being the top-scorer for the Men in Blue.
Both openers, Jaiswal and Gaikwad, had a phenomenal run for their respective sides Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023. Jaiswal However, it is a reward for Gaikwad’s consistency over the last few years where he has played major role in Chennai winning two titles in three seasons. The Rajasthan left-hander finished fifth in the list for top-scorers with 625 runs while Gaikwad had 590 runs.
Rohit Sharma will lead the India’s squads in both Tests and three-match One Day International series, with the first Test beginning at Windsor Park on July 12.
Twenty20 team later
India are also scheduled to play five T20 Internationals, for which the squad will be announced later, according to a press release from the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Friday.
Test squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohammad Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat and Navdeep Saini.
ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Umran Malik and Mukesh Kumar.
Schedule (all times are UAE):
July 12-16: First Test, Windsor Park, Dominica, 6pm
July 20-24: Second Test, Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad, 6pm
July 27: First ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados 5.30pm
July 29: Second ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados, 5.30pm
August 1: Third ODI, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad 5.30pm.