Indian selectors met on Monday to pick the teams for the Zimbabwe tour which includes 3 ODIs and 2 T20s and also for the West Indies test tour. There were not many surprises when the selectors released the team for both tours.
As expected, the selectors have continued with their policy of resting senior players from touring Zimbabwe and have left out Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. MS Dhoni however will be part of the tour and captain the side as usual. The selectors have decided to include a number of youngsters and give them an exposure to international cricket.
The squad to Zimbabwe comprises of MS Dhoni (Captain), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, R Dhawan,Akshar Patel,Jayant Yadav,Dhawal Kulkarni,J Bumrah,Barinder Sran,Mandeep Singh,Kedar Jadhav, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal.
A number of these players such as Yuzvendra Chahal, KL Rahul and Karun Nair have done well in the 2016 IPL and the selectors have rewarded their performance by selecting them from the Zimbabwe tour.
India will play four test matches against the West Indies and the test side for the West Indies tour largely remains the same with just a couple of changes. Shardul Thakur has been drafted into the test side for his strong performances in the Ranji trophy during the last couple of seasons. The medium pace bowler will most likely not get a chance to play a test match unless one of the other bowlers gets injured.
Varun Aaron has been dropped and Mohammed Shami who has recovered from his injuries has been drafted back into the squad. The other noticeable change is that A Rahane has been given the responsibilities of vice-captain for the West Indies tour.
The squad to the West Indies includes Virat Kohli(C), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant,Shami, B Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Stuart Binny and Mohammed Shami.
In a statement, Sandeep Patil, one of the selectors said “No one has been rested. No one wrote to BCCI or called us (to say) they were not available or they should be rested. It was the decision of the selection committee to pick a young side for Zimbabwe and another side for West Indies.”
There were some in the cricketing fraternity who believed that the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Harbhajan Singh might get a chance to tour the West Indies but the selectors did not share those views.