The Indian cricket team selection chaired by MSK Prasad announced the India squad for the three-match ODI and T20 series against Sri Lanka. The other selection process that underwent at the BCCI headquarters was the 17-member squad for the three-match Test tour of South Africa scheduled for January 2018.
There were not too many surprises in Indian cricket team selection for the three T20s and ODIs against Sri Lanka. Virat Kohli who requested for a break received a much-needed rest and Rohit Sharma was named as India captain. However, the delay in announcing the squads for the three-match Test series against Proteas was the talking point.
Indian Cricket team selection: Maiden call up for Washington Sundar and Deepak Hooda
The T20 squad includes three new faces. 18-year-old Tamil Nadu all-rounder Washington Sundar, Baroda Ranji team captain Deepak Hooda and Kerala pacer Basil Thampi.
The trio, along with Saurashtra seamer Jaydev Unadkat, has been rewarded for their impressive performances in domestic cricket and IPL.
T20 squad against Sri Lanka
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah, M Siraj, Basil Thampi and Jaydev Unadkat
Let’s analyze the Indian cricket team selection for T20s
All-rounder Deepak Hooda earned his maiden India call up for the T20 series against Sri Lanka. The 22-year-old, who captains Baroda in the domestic circuit, has amassed 2,208 runs in 31 first-class matches.
He has played against Yuvraj in domestic tournaments and shared the dressing room with the veteran left-handed batsman at Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Interestingly, in a Ranji Trophy game last year, Hooda scored 293 against the Yuvraj-led Punjab side. In the same match, Yuvraj too had hit a double hundred.
Hooda’s joy knew no bounds when he got the news about his selection in the national side. The budding all-rounder is looking to learn from the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rohit Sharma.
Deepak, who was part of the India A team that played against New Zealand A, also felt that being an all-rounder helps him.
The Indian cricket team selection committee preferred Washington Sundar on the back of some impressive IPL and domestic performances. He played a starring role in Rising Pune Supergiant’s run to the IPL final earlier this year. Though Washington managed only eight wickets in his IPL stint, his economy rate of 6.16 and tight line and length in the Powerplay stood out.
For this performance he was picked to play for the Indian Board President’s XI in a 50-over game against the touring Australians. In this game the young spinner showed his worth again, claiming the wickets of Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell giving away only 23 runs in his eight overs.
Basil Thampi was Gujarat Lions’ second-highest wicket-taker in the IPL 2016, and subsequently made it into the India A side for the tour of South Africa and the home series against New Zealand A.
The T20 matches will take place on December 20, 22 and 24 at Cuttack, Indore and Visakhapatnam respectively.
Indian Cricket Team Selection: ODI Squad for Sri Lanka
The ODI squad to face Sri Lanka remains unchanged. The only player trading that happened is between skipper Kohli (who requested for rest before the SA tour) and Shreyas Iyer.
For ODIs vs SL: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul.
Controversy surrounding Sri Lanka’s Team for ODIs
Sri Lankan One-Day International players’ departure to India was initially delayed. Nine players who are a part of Sri Lanka’s ODI squad for the three-match series against India, including captain Thisara Perera, were told to go back home.
All sporting teams chosen to represent Sri Lanka at international events need the approval of minister of sports. The squad got selected on November 30, but there is a delay in sending the squad to the Ministry for approval.
However, things have now sorted out. The team, led by Thisara Perera, has been ratified by Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera. Skipper Dinesh Chandimal is left out of the 16-member Sri Lankan ODI squad for the three-match series.
Indian cricket team selection: Test Squad for South Africa tour
After a successful home season the Indian team will be the touring to some of the toughest destinations to play Test Cricket. Their first stop is South Africa. The Indian cricket team selection committee for the first time selected Jasprit Bumrah in the test squad.
The three Tests will be played at Newlands, Cape Town (from January 5 to 9), Centurion (from January 13-17) and The Wanderers, Johannesburg (from January 24-28).
The two teams will take on each other in 6 ODIs and 3 T20s, that start on 1st February that will go on till 24th February.
Bumrah earns a maiden Test selection, Parthiv makes a comeback
Indian Pacer Jasprit Bumrah earned his major and maiden Test call-up by the Indian cricket team selection committee. The committee included Parthiv Patel as a backup wicket keeping option for Wriddhiman Saha. All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who demanded rests for the Test series against Lanka makes his comeback to Indian squad.
The young pacer earned his selection in the side on the back of some impressive showing in limited-overs cricket. He impressed everyone in the longer format at the domestic level too, having picked 89 wickets in 26 first-class games.
Parthiv Patel, on the other hand, returns to the Indian squad after two years. He last played against England in the home season. He took over the duties from regular wicket keeper Saha in the series. Parthiv performed well with the bat, registering scores of 42, 67*, 15 and 71 in the three Tests.
The conditions in South Africa historically favour the pacers. The Indian cricket team selection body have decided to retain prime spin duo R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
The frontline pace attack for India includes Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
Can Indians give a tough fight to the hosts in their own backyard?
India is on top of the ICC Test rankings. South Africa is a distant 2nd with a gap of 13 points. After convincingly defeating the likes of Australia and Sri Lanka, team India are on winning run. They have not lost a Test series since the one in Australia 2014-15.
However, the major challenge for Kohli’s men is to win outside the sub-continent. Indians have played outside the subcontinent only once, touring the Windies and beating them 2-0.
This will be Captain Virat Kohli’s first big challenge too, having led the team predominantly in the sub-continent.
India’s tour of South Africa kicks off with a two-day warm-up match on December 30. Post which India will be playing three Test matches, six ODIs and three T20Is in the same order.
Test Squad for SA: Virat Kohli (c), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Parthiv Patel, Jasprit Bumrah.