Meanwhile, senior cricketers like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja continue to find themselves out of the T20I squad. With the 2024 World Cup coming up, it is unlikely that the selectors will go back to the 30-plus cricketers.
The squad in West Indies will be led yet again by Hardik Pandya, a clear indicator that the all-rounder is now the unofficial full-time captain of the T20I squad. The Men in Blue squad for the West Indies tour features expected names like Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, while Suryakumar Yadav remains the vice-captain. Keeper-batter Sanju Samson could also get another chance to stake a claim for a place in the 2024 T20 World Cup if gets an opportunity in West Indies.
Both Varma and Jaiswal have been picked after impressive Indian Premier League (IPL) stints. The former has been consistent for Mumbai Indians (MI) since making his debut for the franchise last season. On the other hand, Jaiswal was outstanding in IPL 2023. In 14 matches for Rajasthan Royals (RR), he smashed 625 runs, averaging 48.08 and a strike rate of 163.61.
Some fans and critics were surprised to see Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batting sensation Rinku Singh’s name missing from the squad. Singh clobbered 474 at an average of 59.25 and a strike rate of 149.52 for KKR in IPL 2023.
If we look at India’s bowling options, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi are the spinners. Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan form the young pace-bowling outfit.
The squad for the West Indies T20Is has been announced just a day after former India pace bowler Ajit Agarkar was named as India’s new chief selector, replacing Chetan Sharma.
India’s T20I squad for West Indies: Hardik Pandya (C), Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Sanju Samson (wk), Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.
--By A Cricket Correspondent