India’s Test Squad for West Indies: Rahane Retained, Pujara Dropped, and Vice-Captaincy Role Assigned 2023

West indies, Pujara

Mohammed Shami has been rested, and Umesh Yadav has been omitted from the roster in favour of Mukesh Kumar.

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Reserve player Yashasvi Jaiswal replaced Ruturaj Gaikwad for the World Test Championship final.

Critical Changes in India’s Test Squad for West Indies Tour

For the first time, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Mukesh Kumar have been chosen for the West Indies tour’s Indian Test squad. At the same time, Cheteshwar Pujara has been benched, and Mohammed Shami is taking a break. Umesh Yadav has been dropped, and fast bowler Navdeep Saini has rejoined the team.

After Pujara, 35, scored just 14 and 27 in the World Test Championship final against Australia earlier in June, India will have a new No. 3 for the series. For India’s first series in the 2023–2025 WTC cycle, Pujara’s position might be filled by Jaiswal or Gaikwad unless India drops Shubman Gill to No. 3 instead.

After a 15-month break from the Test team, Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in scoring at The Oval, has retained his spot. He has been appointed vice-captain as well. Most players chosen for the WTC final make up the remaining team Rohit Sharma captains.

After Gaikwad, who was on the initial list of back-ups, withdrew to be married, Jaiswal and Mukesh travelled to London as stand-by players. Gaikwad has participated in 10 limited-overs international matches, his recent being an ODI against South Africa in October last year. Jaiswal and Mukesh have never received a cap.

Gaikwad, a player for Maharashtra, has a first-class average of 42.19 from 28 games with six hundred. The selectors and team management have wanted to add him to the Test team and have been pleased by his technique.

Jaiswal has a first-class average of 80.21 in 26 innings and has been very productive for Mumbai. For the Rest of India versus Madhya Pradesh in the Irani Cup, his most recent first-class match, he hit 213 and 144. The 357 total is the highest total by a batter in an Irani Cup game. Jaiswal can bat at No. 3 in addition to opening.

What will Cheteshwar Pujara do next?

Bengal Mukesh is a hardworking athlete. The line-and-length fast bowler, who is 30 years old, has developed a remarkable body of work in domestic cricket. He played a significant role in Bengal reaching two Ranji Trophy finals in the previous three seasons and has been a potential Test player for some time after participating on each India A trip for the last two seasons. In his 39 first-class matches, he has 149 wickets.

KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan have been chosen as India’s wicketkeepers in the Caribbean since Rishabh Pant is in rehab after surviving a car accident last December, while Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer are all still recovering from surgery for various ailments. Since Pant’s injury, Bharat has participated in all five Test matches but has only amassed 129 runs at an average of 18.42.

Regarding spin bowling, Axar Patel supports R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Jaydev Unadkat, the lone left-arm seamer in a fast bowling trio that includes Mohammed Siraj, Saini, and Mukesh, was also retained. He has been a member of every Test team since the tour to Bangladesh in December.

India’s West Indies trip begins on July 12 with the opening Test match in Dominica. On July 20, the second Test starts at Port-of-Spain’s Queen’s Park Oval. 2019 saw a 2-0 victory in their previous Test series against the Caribbean.

India Team Test squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, KS Bharat (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan (wk), Navdeep Saini

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