BCCI announce Test and ODI squads for WI tour; Jaiswal and Gaikwad get maiden call-ups, while Pujara dropped

Toby Marshall
29 June 2023

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made an announcement on Friday regarding the squads for the upcoming West Indies tour. The Indian team is scheduled to play two Test matches, three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), and a five-match T20I series, commencing on July 12.

In a notable inclusion, promising talents such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and fast bowler Mukesh Kumar have earned their maiden call-ups to the Indian Test side. Meanwhile, experienced players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Mohammed Shami have been omitted from the squad. Jaiswal and Gaikwad had impressive performances during the IPL, where they opened the batting for Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings respectively.

Ajinkya Rahane, who recently made a comeback to the Test team for the World Test Championship final, has been appointed as the vice-captain for the tour. Additionally, Navdeep Saini has also made a return to the squad.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav have not been included in India’s Test series squad for the West Indies, leading to discussions about a potential transition. Meanwhile, pace bowler Mohammed Shami has been given a rest for both the Test and ODI series in the Caribbean.

The selection panel, headed by interim chief selector Shiv Sundar Das, finalized the squads for the upcoming two Tests and three ODIs during their meeting on Thursday evening. The series against the West Indies is set to commence on July 12.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah, in the squad announcement on Friday, mentioned that the squad for the five T20Is in the West Indies in August will be revealed at a later date. However, the statement did not provide any clarification regarding the changes in the squad.

In the aftermath of India’s second successive loss in the World Test Championship final, the selection committee, in coordination with the team management, made the decision to “move on” from Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav.

Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who have struggled to consistently score big runs in the middle order over the past three years, were omitted from India’s squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka last year. However, Pujara made a comeback since the one-off Test in England last July and was recently appointed as the vice-captain. Interestingly, Rahane, who returned to Test cricket during the WTC final against Australia, has once again been appointed as the vice-captain.

The ODI squad includes many regular players, and Gaikwad has also earned a place in the limited-overs setup. Sanju Samson has been recalled, while KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are unavailable due to injuries. Rohit Sharma will lead the ODI side, with Hardik named as his deputy.

Author Toby Marshall