Fast bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya and opening batsman Prithvi Shaw have been left out of the squad that has been announced for the World Test Championship Final. The final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship is scheduled to begin on the 18th of June, 2021 at Southampton in Great Britain.
India will be playing against New Zealand in the final of the World Test Championship. Both the teams have been consistently performing well in test cricket. Along with Hardik Pandya and Prithvi Shaw, even spinner Kuldeep Yadav has not been selected to the final squad for the match. All the three players are known for their performances. Hardik Pandya is a versatile hitter of the ball and is also a good bowler.
Prithvi Shaw is a swashbuckling opening batsman who is often compared to the likes of Virender Sehwag. Kuldeep was also touted as one of India’s best spinners. Let us have a look at why these players have not been selected to the squad.
Performances of the players
Hardik and Prithvi Shaw have not been selected due to different reasons, as is apparent. Hardik has been battling a back injury for long. He had played his last test in 2018 in the last tour of England. He also developed a shoulder injury that did not allow him to take up any bowling responsibility during the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League. Also, he could only manage 52 runs across seven innings, implying that he was not in great form. It seems that the selectors do not want Hardik Pandya as a specialist batsman in the squad. Prithvi Shaw, on the other hand has not had a good run as of late. He was selected for the India tour of Australia and has even played in the Adelaide Test. However, his twin failures cost him his spot.
India after a lot of experimentation then decided to persist with the opening pair of Shubhman Gill and Rohit Sharma which has turned out to be a wonderful decision. Prithvi Shaw has delivered very good performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy though, including four tons. He has also been very consistent in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League. He had scored 308 runs with 3 fifties and was in the race for the Orange Cap. The Indian squad that has been announced already has four openers in Rohit Sharma, Shubhamn Gill, Mayank Agarwal, and KL Rahul. Prithvi Shaw, therefore, has missed out this time owing to the presence of other players.
The squad of the game has been announced. Mohammed Shami has returned to the squad, much to the jubilation of his fans. He was out of the game due to an injury. The other members of the Indian pace battery – Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mihammed Siraj and Shdraul Thakur have also been included in the squad. However, Bubneshwar Kumar, known for his swing bowling has not made the final cut. Among the spinner, all the three have been included in the squad. These include Ravindra Jadeja, Ravinchandran Ashwin and Axar Patel, who had put up fantastic performances in the test series at home against England.
Squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (w), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance)
Standby: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla
India is scheduled to play the match on June 18 but will have to leave earlier than expected. The team might have to travel in the end of May owing to the various restrictions that have been imposed on travel due to the pandemic. Initially, the plan was that the Indian and New Zealand players who had played in the Indian Premier League 2021 would travel together from India on a chartered flight. However, that will not happen as the Indian Premier League 2021 has been postponed due to the rapid spread of the pandemic among players and other officials of the game.
The news of dropping these two players has been receiving various kinds of responses from the fans of the game. Many of them have expressed their surprise at Prithvi Shaw being dropped. We hope these two players shall make their comebacks soon and cheer their fans up