The hype around India’s Australia tour has begun. While the tour was confirmed a long time ago, it was only a few days ago that reports emerged confirming the dates and venues for the upcoming tour. And now, the Indian squad for each of the three formats has been picked.
It is just the second time that the Sunil Joshi-led selection panel picked a squad for a tour or a series. Before this, their maiden assignment was for the ODI series against South Africa at home, which was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
India have already copped with a few big injury blows. Rohit Sharma has been excluded as he is still recovering from a hamstring injury while Ishant Sharma is also out rehabbing and recovering from a muscle tear. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also not available for selection as he was ruled out of the IPL due to a thigh muscle injury.
As many as 28 players have been named along with four other additional fast bowlers. As always, social media was on fire post the announcement of the teams. However, there are some surprise inclusions and exclusions. So, where are they?
Read the full squads here: India’s squads for Australia tour announced
One of the biggest talking points since the squads were announced has been around the Indian T20I squad as the next major ICC event is the 2021 T20 World Cup which will take place in India.
Shikhar Dhawan returned to the squad but it was the inclusion of Varun Chakravarthy that caught everyone by surprise. The mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu has been impressive in this ongoing IPL season, and he got the nod in the T20I team ahead of the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel. Ashwin and Patel have also done really well in the IPL this year and haven’t been around the Indian white-all sides for a while now. Krunal Pandya is another notable exclusion.
Suryakumar Yadav’s exclusion from the Australia tour was the biggest surprise as the Mumbaikar has been piling on the runs season after season. Be it domestic cricket or the IPL, Yadav has scored a lot of runs. Pant has been overlooked as well. Despite his inconsistency and his inability to convert starts regularly, Samson has been picked as the backup wicketkeeper, which is yet another surprise.
Pant has been excluded from both the white-ball formats. The left-handed wicket-keeper hasn’t had the best of forms in this IPL. He lost the gloves to Rahul earlier this year and now, has eventually lost his place in the side. Deepak Chahar’s case is a curious one. He has been picked in the T20I squad but he hasn’t been named in the ODI squad. Shardul Thakur takes his place in the 50-over side, which is a surprise.
Another big exclusion from the ODI squad is that of Prithvi Shaw. The Mumbai-born batsman has had a wretched run of form in the IPL in the last few innings. However, with the selectors sticking more or less to the players that played in New Zealand, there is a slight surprise that Shaw has been dropped after having scored 84 runs in three innings in his debut series. Gill has been named in his place with Shikhar Dhawan who missed the New Zealand tour due to injury returning to the side.
The Test team is the one that looks a lot more settled. There was just one big surprise but it was more or less on the cards. KL Rahul returns to the side after having missed two home Test series and one in New Zealand owing to poor form. However, the Karnataka batsman has been in scintillating form in the recent past but that has been in white-ball cricket.
The selections of Mohammed Siraj might come as a slight surprise but he gets a well-deserved Test call-up after consistently getting wickets over the last few seasons in domestic cricket. He is a part of the five fast bowlers who have been picked for the big Test series for the Australia tour.