As anticipated, Indian selectors made drastic changes while selecting the squad for the 4th and 5th Test against England with the omission of Murali Vijay and inclusion of Prithvi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari being the highlights.
After a poor show in 2018, Vijay’s axing seemed preeminent but Prithvi Shaw’s inclusion in the squad was amusing as he was picked ahead of Mayank Agarwal. Both Shaw and Agarwal are scoring massive amount of runs in the first-class games but Agarwal has also remained a heavy scorer in Ranji tournaments in the recent seasons. However, the selectors backed the 18-year-old Shaw who led India to the U-19 world cup title earlier this year and has 4 centuries in his last 12 innings.
Vijay was touted as India’s best opener in the recent times but he is going through a lean patch in 2018. This axing has created serious questions over the 34-year old Tamil Nadu batsman’s Test career.
The selectors also rewarded Hanuma Vihari whose first-class batting average of 59.79 is the highest among all present-day cricketers. Vihari too is been racking big hundreds in first-class cricket and is one of India A’s highest run scorers.
Kuldeep Yadav who failed to make any mark in the second Test is also dropped from the team which may seem a bit of harsh decision as the spinner only got one innings to show his mettle. At the moment, the team management seems happy with the spin duo of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Apart from it, there are no changes in the Indian squad. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s sustained injury has prevented him from being a part if the team while Dinesh Karthik has retained his position despite failing in the first two Tests. Karun Nair and Shardul Thakur too have been retained although they warmed the benches during the first three Tests.