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If India Were to Pick Separate ODI and Test Squads Like England

England’s recently-concluded Test series against the West Indies was followed by a separate ODI squad taking on Ireland in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super Series 2020. This move has got a few heads spinning in confusion on how is it possible for a nation to have completely separate squads for the longest and the limited-overs format?

We are, however, of the opinion that if England are doing this then why shouldn’t India follow suit? So, we thought of jumping on the bandwagon and building our own ODI and Test squads for India if they were to play an international match simultaneously. Let’s check out who made it to the teams and who didn’t!

 

TEST SQUAD

Given the fact that all the players in the A-grade of the BCCI contract list are Test players, therefore this format has been given the priority for selection. Virat Kohli, the captain of India, values the longest format of the sport the most so we’ve gone with the best possible 12 players in the country for this format.

Rohit Sharma is the only one who misses out of the squad as he is going to lead the limited-overs format of the team. Prithvi Shaw will make a comeback in the team and open the batting with Mayank Agarwal, who has made the Test opener spot his own.

As usual, Kohli will lead this side with Ajinkya Rahane as the deputy captain. Wriddhiman Saha, India’s best gloveman currently, will don the wicket-keeping gloves, while Hanuma Vihari will provide the much-needed solidity in the middle order.

We’ve gone with our two frontline spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. The pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, who have been exceptional in the past couple of years, gets the nod for selection. There was the big dilemma of whether Jasprit Bumrah should be in the Test or the limited-overs squad but given the fact that he relishes the challenge of playing with the red ball makes him an automatic pick in the longest format.

Depending on the conditions, the team can either go in with two spinners and drop one of the leading pacemen or pick one spinner and three out-and-out fast bowlers. Overall, this team has the balance and the ability to challenge any team in any condition.

Final Squad: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami

 

ODI & T20I SQUAD

After England’s success with the split captaincy in the 2019 World Cup, many experts have asked the Indian team to follow the model and appoint Rohit Sharma as the permanent limited-overs captain. This move will free Kohli as a batsman who can then prolong his career. It’s debatable whether this would actually work or backfire given the control Kohli wants when he is leading the team.

Anyway, for this scenario’s sake, we’ve gone with Rohit Sharma as our limited-overs captain. He’ll open the batting with his partner-in-crime, Shikhar Dhawan. KL Rahul, arguably India’s best T20 batsman currently, will take that coveted number three spot in the team followed by Shreyas Iyer, who seems to be the answer to India’s number four woes.

Manish Pandey has been added in the middle order to give flexibility to the squad and can be utilised in different roles. Rishabh Pant, who hasn’t had a dream start to his limited-overs career, is still our number one wicketkeeper in the squad. Hardik Pandya, with his all-round abilities, completes the squad and strengthens all three departments – batting, bowling and fielding.

Spin twins of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are our frontline spinners in the team. The duo has been exceptional ever since they started playing together and we expect the wrist spinners to cause havoc in the opposition batting order.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the leader of a relatively inexperienced pace attack. He’ll take the new ball and come back in the death overs to finish the innings up. Navdeep Saini has been impressive in his short career with India so far and gets the nod ahead of the likes of Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed. Deepak Chahar is our 12th pick and we expect him to be lethal with the new ball upfront.

Final Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuveneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar

 

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