New Delhi: Former India player Wasim Jaffer slammed the selection policy in India’s Test squad for the tour of West Indies starting from July 12, and has further questioned the need for four openers in the 16-member team, while pointing out that Sarfaraz Khan could have been picked as a middle-order batting option.
In India’s Test squad announced for two Tests against West Indies, which also mark the start of their 2023-25 WTC cycle, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mukesh Kumar earned their maiden call-ups to the team.
There were no places for Sarfaraz, a prolific run-scorer in last few seasons of domestic cricket, as well as for openers Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal. “What’s the need for four openers? Instead, they could have picked Sarfaraz as extra middle order bat to honour his consistent domestic performances.
“Easwaran and Panchal have also been doing the hard yards in Ranji and India A, knocking on Test doors for a long time. Just because they don’t play IPL, is it a case of out of sight out of mind? How did Ruturaj jump the queue?,”
“Surprised to see Shami rested and that too after a month-long break. I feel he’s the type of bowler that the more he bowls the better/fitter and in the form he gets,” wrote Jaffer in a string of observations on his Twitter account on Saturday.
Former India cricketer Abhinav Mukund also questioned the selections in the Test squad and was left disappointed over players performing consistently in domestic cricket not getting an entry into the national side.
“Unable to understand these selections- too many thoughts in my head to compile into a tweet. But what is the incentive for a young player to take pride in playing for his state anymore? Clearly, the franchise route is a faster way to scale the grade,” he tweeted.
Windsor Park in Dominica will host the first Test match between India and West Indies from July 12-16, followed by the second Test to be played from July 20-24 at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. The second Test will also mark the 100th Test match played between India and West Indies.
India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Navdeep Saini.