The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced the Test squad for the two-match series against West Indies, just a day after Team India under the leadership of Rohit Sharma lifted their historic seventh Asia Cup trophy. Virat Kohli is back with the squad while, key bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were rested for the Test series against West Indies, whereas Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya were left out due to injuries.
"Taking stock of the recent workload, the selectors have decided to rest Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Both Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya were not considered for selection as they are yet to recover from their injuries," a BCCI release read.
Youngster Prithvi Shaw got the nod for the Test squad alongside Andhra captain Hanuma Vihari, who made his debut against England in the fifth Test match at the Oval.
Mayank Agarwal and Mohammed Siraj were handed their maiden national call-up after splendid performances in the domestic circuit. While veterans, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, after a brilliant Asia Cup 2018 were dropped with KL Rahul remaining as the only experienced opening batsman in the squad.
However, there are 2 players who could have easily made the cut for the Test series against West Indies. Let us take a look at them:
1. Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem has been a consistent name in the domestic circuit for the last few years with a staggering 375 wickets in this account in 99 matches. Nadeem was one of the bowlers who was with the Indian team in Dubai for the Asia Cup, but as a net bowler to help the batsmen prepare.
The 29-year-old recently broke the world record for the Best List A bowling figures with his 8 wickets by giving away just 10 runs against Rajasthan while playing for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare trophy. However, he has been a name which was been constantly looked away from but he is a player who certainly deserves a chance to bowl the red cherry for Team India.
2. Karun Nair
Karun Nair is leading the Board President’s XI against West Indies in a practice match is a name missing from the Indian team for the Test series against the Caribbeans. Nair, who was a part of the Indian side for all the five matches against England didn’t get the nod there, but surprisingly he does not even make the cut this time. Nair has an impressive First Class average of 51.09 and has been consistent for some time now.
And another fact – Karun Nair is the only batsman other than Virender Sehwag to smash a triple ton in Test cricket.
India's 15-member squad: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur.