Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has expressed his disappointment over the selection of India’s Test team for the upcoming tour of West Indies. Gavaskar believes that players who are guaranteed to feature in the ODI World Cup 2023 should have focused only on the white-ball leg of the tour, allowing more opportunities for young players in the red-ball format.
Key Members Missing from the Test Squad
The Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced the squad for the two-match Test series against West Indies. Surprisingly, regular members of the Test side such as Cheteshwar Pujara, Umesh Yadav, and Mohammed Shami were missing from the list. While Jaydev Unadkat managed to retain his place in the Test set-up, Mukesh Kumar earned his maiden call-up. Navdeep Saini also received a call-up for the longest format of the game. The rest of the team closely resembles the one selected for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Missed Opportunity for Youngsters in Test Cricket
Gavaskar believes that the selectors missed an opportunity by giving only a few young players a chance in the Test format. According to him, players who are certain to play in the ODI World Cup later this year should have prioritized the white-ball series and taken a break from Test cricket. Gavaskar emphasized that these players have been continuously playing for the past 3-4 months without a significant break, and providing them with rest would have been beneficial. He feels that giving opportunities to more young players in the Test team would have been advantageous for Indian cricket.
Pujara’s Exclusion Raises Questions
Gavaskar also criticized the selectors for singling out Cheteshwar Pujara following India’s collective failure in the WTC final. Despite the team’s overall performance, it was Pujara who was shown the exit door, leading Gavaskar to view him as a scapegoat. The legendary cricketer believes that Pujara’s exclusion is unjustified, considering the team’s collective responsibility for the defeat.
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