After the embarrassing loss in the World Test Championship final, it is believed that the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) will be bringing major changes to the Test squad. As reported by Cricbuzz, only a couple of players are set to be rested or dropped, and importantly, Rohit Sharma is set to continue as India’s Test captain in the foreseeable future.
As per the report, four out of the top five batsmen retain their place in the batting lineup. Rohit, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane are certain to retain their places in the squad for the two Test matches in West Indies, but a question mark hangs over Cheteshwar Pujara, who is plagued with a drop in form.
Cheteshwar Pujara has been Team India’s wall in the red-ball format for over a decade. But lately, the right-hander has witnessed a dip in form. The Saurashtra-based batsman has scored only one century in 52 innings (28 Tests) since 2020 at a disappointing average of 29.69. While he has registered 11 half-centuries, his average further drops to 26.31 when his scores of 90 and 102* in the Chittagong Test in December 2022 are excluded.
Pujara’s shot selection and his strike rate have garnered a lot of criticism with many former cricketers believing the right-hander needs to call it a time from the Test format.
In addition, Mohammad Shami who has been in exceptional touch will be rested for the Test series. The veteran fast bowler may return for the ODIs that follow the two Tests in view of the World Cup later this year. Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik who have impressed everyone with their talent will likely be included in the 2 Test series.
KS Bharat, who showed exceptional skills behind the stumps will retain his position in the squad. Additionally, Ishan Kishan will also be included in the Test squad as a backup keeper.