26.07.2019 Author: C.NAMASIVAYAMThe Indian squads for the tour of West Indies comprising of 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is and 2 Test matches have been announced. The much talked about selection dilemma surrounding MS Dhoni has been put to rest for the time being with Dhoni himself opting out of the tour.
Prithvi Shaw, Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar missed out due to injuries while Shikhar Dhawan is making a welcome return to the team after sustaining a thumb fracture in the World Cup. Jasprit Bumrah has been rested for the ODIs and T20Is.
In the absence of some experienced players, the selectors have done a fantastic job by drafting in youngsters like Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini, Rahul Chahar and Deepak Chahar. And the re-introduction of players like Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey and Washington Sundar has emphasized the fact that the selectors are on the lookout to build a team for the future.
The selection of Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja for all the three formats of the game should augur well for the team as they are the “X-factors” in this squad.
From a position of having three wicket-keepers in the playing XI in the World Cup, the selectors have taken a U-turn by selecting Pant as the lone specialist wicket-keeper in white-ball cricket. KL Rahul will be the backup part-time wicket-keeper.
India will certainly miss a fast-bowling all-rounder in the absence of both Pandya and Shankar. The selectors have made their intentions quite clear by not selecting Test specialists like Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin in the ODI squad.
By not selecting Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Tests and Yuzvendra Chahal for T20Is, the selectors have achieved the dual goal of giving breaks to a few players and at the same time presenting the other players with an opportunity to showcase their talent.
The selectors have thrown a lifeline at Kedar Jadhav, but some of the other players have not been that fortunate. In this article, let us look at three such players who might have played their last innings for India based on the current selection.
# 1 Parthiv PatelIn the absence of Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv Patel found himself in the scheme of things for India’s Test squad for the tour of Australia in December 2018. The last time he played a Test for India was in January 2018, against South Africa. Since Rishabh Pant’s debut in August 2018, Patel has found himself as the second keeper in away tours.
Now with the return of Saha for the Test matches, Patel’s career is as good as finished. Having made his Test debut for India much before MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik, and represented India in 25 Test matches spread over a span of 16 years, Patel might have played his last innings for India.
#2 Murali VijayLike Parthiv Patel, Murali Vijay too was part of India’s Test squad for the tour of Australia. In spite of his failures in South Africa and England, he was preferred to open the batting with KL Rahul in the first two Tests in Australia.
But Vijay returned with poor scores of 11, 18, 0 and 20 which led to the selectors opting for Mayank Agarwal for the last two matches.
Vijay is no more the solid and consistent opener that he was once upon a time. His technique has become susceptible to short-pitched deliveries. His greatest virtue as an opener - leaving the balls outside the off-stump combined with the tight defense - has deserted him at a crucial phase of his career.
The successive tough away tours of South Africa, England and Australia took a heavy toll on Vijay’s career.
The success of Agarwal in Australia and the presence of another talented youngster in Prithvi Shaw ensured that Vijay’s absence was never felt. Now with his omission from the Test squad to tour West Indies, we can safely say that Vijay’s career has come to an end.
The selectors have taken a risk by going with only two regular Test openers, Rahul and Agarwal, in the squad. Nonetheless, they didn't consider Vijay at all, which is a clear sign that his days as an Indian player are over.
ODI and T20I squads
#1 Dinesh KarthikDinesh Karthik's is a curious case - he hasn’t got enough opportunities when in good form, and has failed to deliver when given an opportunity. His career should be an inspiration to youngsters to keep trying even when the odds are totally against them.
Karthik had a wonderful opportunity to redeem himself in the semifinal of the World Cup against New Zealand. India were reduced to 5 for 3 in the fourth over and Karthik had all the time in the world to build an innings of substance. A half-century at that stage could have done a world of good to his career and to India’s fortunes in the World Cup.
But at that crucial moment he failed once again, putting himself and his team in distress.
The Indian team management had shown loads of confidence in selecting Karthik ahead of Kedar Jadhav and thereby eliminating the sixth bowling option for the team. But the Tamil Nadu batsman failed to do justice to the confidence reposed in him.
Karthik has only himself to blame for his non-inclusion to the West Indies tour. By now, he must have understood that a few cameos here and there are not good enough to guarantee him a place in the Indian squad forever.
With so many young wicket-keepers like Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan in the mix, it will be very difficult for Karthik to make a comeback into the Indian team. We might have seen the last of Dinesh Karthik representing his nation.