The wait is finally over, less than two weeks before the start of the Test series as India finally announced the Test squad to face England. After plenty of deliberation, India finally announced the Test squad for the first three Tests.
Injuries meant that there were quite a few notable omissions and/or players who aren’t available immediately. Bhuvneshwar Kumar aggravated a pre-existing condition in the third ODI and a call on his selection will be taken shortly while Wriddhiman Saha failed to recover in time from the injury he suffered during IPL 2018 so he isn’t there as well.
Jasprit Bumrah, although in the squad, is unavailable for selection for the first Test at Edgbaston and if fit, is available for selection from the second Test onwards. All of that meant that there are some new names in the 18-man squad for the first three Tests.
India Test squad for first three Tests against England: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Karun Nair, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur.
Despite that, there are a few players who were unlucky to miss out on India’s Test squad for the first three Tests.
Here are 5 players who missed out on India’s Test squad for first three Tests against England:
While it isn’t altogether surprising that Rohit Sharma missed the cut for the first three Tests, he will certainly consider himself unlucky to not have made even an 18-man squad. While he didn’t have an extraordinary limited-overs leg of India’s tour of England so far, he still scored two centuries.
The tour of South Africa perhaps did him no favor as he struggled in the two Tests he took part in but he still has five fifties and a century in his last nine Tests. A record that should have been enough to give him another chance to remain in the squad, even if he didn’t make the starting XI.
Arguably the most left-field of all the players on the list, Prithvi Shaw has certainly a good case to have been drafted in the Indian Test squad. Although he is still only 18, he had a brilliant start to his first-class career, excelled in his debut IPL season and has been on song for India A in England so far.
In six List-A matches for India A on the current tour, he scored two centuries and a fifty. In the unofficial Test against West Indies A, after being dismissed for a golden duck, he came back and scored 188 in the second innings to help his side draw the game. Even in the ongoing game against England Lions, he scored 62 while Murali Vijay and Karun Nair both failed.
Another player who was unlucky to not have got the nod especially considering the injuries to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah is Deepak Chahar. Although he isn’t in the India A side for the unofficial Tests against West Indies A and England Lions, 14 wickets in six List-A games for India A earned him his maiden T20I appearance against England.
With the uncertainty surrounding the fitness of Bhuvi and Bumrah while Shami is just coming back from injury, India could have used someone who can swing the new ball and create havoc early. And it is not as though he hasn’t played first-class games either as he has more than 100 wickets under his belt in the domestic circuit.
If there is one player who must be wondering what he has to do even get a sniff of making it to the Indian side, it has to be Mayank Agarwal. While it is true that the trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, and KL Rahul have made life difficult for any prospective opener looking to make it to the Test squad, Agarwal would have thought that he at least had a sniff of making it to the squad.
After a stellar Ranji season for Karnataka, where he scored 1,160 runs at an average of over 100 and over 2,000 runs across all formats, he continued his form with India A side in England. In six List-A games in England, he scored three centuries and he will be left wondering if he will ever get a chance to make the cut if he doesn’t on the back of a mountain of runs in both domestic cricket and India A.
If there is one player who will be wondering what the thought process behind the selection is, it will be Parthiv Patel. After an eight-year gap, Parthiv Patel was recalled to the Test side for the home series against England after an injury to Wriddhiman Saha. Although he scored two fifties and a 42 in his four innings, once Saha was fit, he didn’t get another chance.
He also played two Tests against South Africa earlier this year when Saha was injured. Although his form against the Proteas wasn’t as good as it was England, he would have thought that he is the second choice keeper in Tests.