India’s Test Squad Shake-Up: Pujara And Yadav Dropped For West Indies Tour

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New Delhi, 25th June 2023: India’s third World Test Championship cycle is set to commence with a tour of the West Indies in mid-July. Following the WTC final in England, there have been significant exclusions from the squad announced earlier this week, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav being dropped.

In a notable development, three young players, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Mukesh Kumar, have received their maiden Test call-ups. The team will continue to be led by Rohit Sharma, who will be accompanied by senior players such as Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Ravindra Jadeja.

However, renowned Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes that the West Indies tour presents an excellent opportunity for the team management to experiment and provide rest to the established players, while testing the potential of the next generation of Test cricketers.

Gavaskar expressed his views to Sports Today, saying, “The West Indies tour was a perfect chance to look at the upcoming cricketers. Considering their current form, it was an ideal time to introduce some new faces. The West Indies team is not as strong as before, so blooding the younger players would have been the right approach.”

With the ODI World Cup just a few months away, Gavaskar suggested that the senior players should focus solely on white-ball cricket. He emphasized the need for a break, as they have been continuously playing since the T20 World Cup last year, and this moment provides an opportune time for rejuvenation.

Gavaskar stated, “The WTC is behind us now, and the next big thing is the ODI World Cup. Ideally, I would have preferred the senior players to take a complete break from Test cricket and concentrate on the 50-over format. They have been playing non-stop cricket since October-November last year, with minimal rest periods. Hence, a complete break from red-ball cricket would have been beneficial. The players who are certain to play in the 50-over World Cup should be given this break. Mohammed Shami has been given a break, so it would be wise to extend it to others as well.”

Gavaskar also highlighted that the team’s departure for the tour and participation in warm-up matches would reduce their break time. He urged for an extended break, suggesting, “Give them a complete break. They finished on the 12th of June, so allow them to rest until the 20th or 25th of July. No Test matches, no travelling either. Currently, it appears that the team will have warm-up matches from the 1st or 2nd of July. So, how many days of rest will they have? Barely 20 days? Instead, why not give them a 40-day break? A complete 40-day break would ensure they return fresh for the upcoming one-day matches and the new season.”

Gavaskar’s recommendations aim to strike a balance between nurturing young talent and providing necessary rest to the senior players ahead of the important ODI World Cup.