India have finally decided to move on with Shikhar Dhawan in Tests and have begun the search for a new opening pair. The team management has axed the left-hander from the Test squad which will play two Tests against West Indies and have included Mayanak Agarwal in the squad.
Shikhar Dhawan played all five Tests in England but failed to make any significant impact. In nine innings he didn’t even get one fifty-plus score.
With Murali Vijay already being sidelined by the team management, the England series was Dhawan’s last chance to prove his mettle in red ball cricket.
The exclusion of Dhawan has opened the doors of the national team for Mayank Agarwal who is in terrific form in domestic cricket and is scoring runs at will.
In his last 36 innings across formats, Agarwal has blasted 2253 runs and has got runs across all bowling attacks.
Karun Nair too has been dropped from the team while Hanuma Vihari has retained his place in the squad courtesy of a half-century on debut in the England series.
Rishabh Pant will continue the job as India’s wicket-keeper and it seems that he has surpassed Dinesh Karthik in the race.
In the bowling department apart from the spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the team management has provided the option of Kuldeep Yadav.
However it is the pace department which will lack some venom as India’s best bowlers in the recent past Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested. Ishant Sharma too is missing due to injury issues.
The presence of Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav provides the strength to the pace department. India have also included Mohammad Siraj and Shardul Thakur in the squad. Siraj has been prolific with the ball in recent games and has claimed 40 wickets in nine first-class innings.
India’s squad for the Test series- 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