The BCCI announced India’s squad for the upcoming tour to West Indies, their first assignment after the World Cup 2019 defeat. The squad gave a clear indication that the transition process has begun, and the young players won’t need to wait anymore to get their dues. Players like Mayank Agarwal, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, and Krunal Pandya have been given due.
While this might mean opportunities for a few, this might well be the end of the road for the others. The team would like to begin to build a core team for the T20 World Cup 2020 as soon as possible, by giving players exposure to every type of situation. And nothing can be better than Test cricket to test the temperament of the players. This would mean that many Test players would face the axe. Let us take a look at the few of them.
1. Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan is one of the three gems of the Indian batting. Unfortunately, that has been the case only for ODIs. While India highly banks over him and Rohit to give the team a good start, the southpaw has still not been able to find his feet in the Test cricket.
Shikhar often looks vulnerable to the swinging deliveries, the main problem that has haunted him. India possesses the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, and KL Rahul – the openers who have shown a lot of promises in their short careers.
While the former could not make the cut for the Windies tour due to an injury, the other two have been picked ahead of the southpaw. Shikhar last played a Test in September 2018 against England, and it is highly unlikely that he is called back again.
2. Dinesh Karthik
Throughout his career, Karthik has never been able to cement himself as a regular player in the squad. Firstly, it was MS Dhoni, who prevented him from making a mark. Karthik was a member of the World Cup squad, but he got to bat only twice throughout the tournament.
And now, Rishabh Pant’s rise has become another chapter of his unlucky career. Everyone has hailed Pant as the future of the cricket, with the selectors clearly wanting to groom him. The BCCI also named some backup options to manage his workload, but Karthik does not feature in that list either, the reason being his poor form.
Clearly, the management would now like to prepare Pant, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson, which might mean the end of the road of the 34-year-old.
3. Karun Nair
It was the year 2016 and England was touring India. Without any surprise, Virat Kohli had once again shown why he is the best in business. But the fifth test of the series turned out to be a defining moment for a young Karun Nair, who was still trying to find his feet in international cricket. He smashed a triple century, becoming only the second Indian to do so after Virender Sehwag.
It had started looking that India has finally found in him a legend in making. But destiny never supported him. He was dropped out of the team at the cost of Ajinkya Rahane, the player whom he had replaced. thereafter, he witnessed a complete dip in his form, which allowed other players to move ahead of him. A poor IPL followed by a nightmarish Ranji season did not help his cause.
Though he is only 27, Nair is unlikely to get chances in the tests, since India has got all their spots cemented in that format. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Ajinkya Rahane are ahead of him, and Karun will have to work very hard if he has any chance.