Virat Kohli, Bumrah rested for West Indies T20Is

West Indies T20Is

R.Ashwin, KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav have been recalled, while Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, and Yuzvendra Chahal have been rested for India’s five-game T20I series against the West Indies to be played in July/August.  Ashwin, the off-spinner, was seen in a T20I last November and is expected to be tested in the PowerPlays ahead of the T20 World Championship, which starts in Australia in October.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced an 18-man squad for the five T20Is against the West Indies to be played in July-August this year.  And as previously reported, India’s nimble Virat Kohli is “ready” for all five games.  Other prominent names who will miss the tour include bowling maestro Jasprit Bumrah.

While Shikhar Dhawan was appointed captain of the ODI in Rohit Sharma’s absence, the current Indian skipper will lead India in the shortest format against the West Indies.  Deepak Hooda, who has been in phenomenal form in T20Is, has found a place in the squad.  Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Hardik Pandya will also be featured in the T20Is.

Subject to fitness

However, after recovering from injuries and ailments over the past few months, Rahul and Kuldeep must pass a fitness test before being made available for the series.

Captain Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper batter Rishabh Pant, and key pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar – who will be rested for the West Indies three ODI from July 22 – return to the team for the T20Is.

However, the selectors, in consultation with team management, have decided to rest Kohli, Bumrah, and Chahal for the T20Is. While the BCCI releases on Thursday had no explanation for the trio’s omission.

Bumrah and Chahal are guaranteed a place in the T20 World Championship squad as first pacers and spinners, respectively, while the selectors are confident Kohli will regain his lost streak at halftime.

Given Australia’s lack of experience among India’s T20 specialists, the selectors and team management are willing to give Kohli a longer rope to get back into run-scoring mode.  As a result, it will come as a surprise if Kohli is not recalled for the Asian Cup, which kicks off in Sri Lanka at the end of August.

However, if Rahul passes the fitness test and scores heavily against powerhouse T20 West Indies; the selectors could find themselves in a dilemma over Kohli’s fate for the T20 World Championship.

If Kuldeep, who is recovering from a finger injury, returns to his wicket-taking showcased during the Indian Premier League; India’s spin combination for the T20 World Cup will also be an interesting topic.

Tempo bowling all-rounder Deepak Chahar was not eligible for selection as he has yet to recover from an injury.  Hamstring and back injuries were sustained prior to IPL.

No place for Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson is off the WI Tour team.  The wicketkeeper’s batsman scored a crucial 77 against Ireland but remained on the bench in the first T20I against England.  With Ishan Kishan selected as Rishabh Pant’s backup, there was no place for Samson.  Umran Malik was dropped while Arshdeep Singh kept his place.

About the Competition

The 5-match T20I series against the West Indies will start from July 29 and will go on till August 7. The first match will be played in Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad; followed by the 2nd and 3rd matches both of which will take place in Warner Park in St Kitts. The series will be concluded in Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Florida where the last two matches will take place.

India Squad

India’s squad for 5 T20Is: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav; Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant; Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.

*The inclusion of KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav is subject to fitness.

India’s Schedule for T20Is against West Indies

  • 29 July: 1st T20I, Brain Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad
  • 01 August: 2nd T20I, Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts
  • 02 August: 3rd T20I, Warner Park, Basseterre, St Kitts
  • 06 August: 4th T20I, Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill, Florida
  • 07 August: 5th T20I, Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill, Florida