Bumrah, Kumar, Pandya and Sharma all out of Windies series

Monday, 1 October 2018 01:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

India have named a 15-strong squad for the visit of the Windies, but several first-choice seamers have missed out through injury and rotation.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have both been rested. Kumar missed the Test series against England through injury, but made a successful comeback in the Asia Cup. Bumrah meanwhile was one of the few players to play both against England and in the Asia Cup.

Hardik Pandya was stretchered off the field in the first of two games between India and Pakistan at the Asia Cup. A BCCI official confirmed he “has an acute lower back injury”. Ishant Sharma reportedly failed a fitness test before the squad selection.

R. Ashwin was an injury doubt, but passed his test. The other notable exclusion is Shikhar Dhawan, who played the last three Tests against England, but didn’t make a half-century in eight Test innings in England.

It might well pave the way for 18-year-old Prithvi Shaw to make his Test debut. He is one of the rising stars of Indian cricket, having captained his country to Under 19 Cricket World Cup glory earlier this year. He has played just 14 first-class games, but averages 56.72 in his nascent career so far, with seven centuries. His style of play and precocity have led some to dub him the next Sachin Tendulkar.

Apart from the established KL Rahul, Shaw is the only opener in the squad who toured England, having been called up for the last two games but not given a debut, perhaps making him the favourite to replace Dhawan.

Mayank Agarwal is the other option. He is more experienced than Shaw, having played 43 first-class games, and has excelled for India A in recent times, with one highlight a double century against South Africa A.

The two other members of the squad who could be in line for debuts are pacers Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur, though India may opt to play just two seamers - most likely Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav - and three spinners.

The series begins on 4 October at Rajkot.

Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur