5 T20 series against Australia from 23 November (Photo: BCCI)
The Indian team has been announced for the T20 series against Australia. Just the captain of the 15-member team has changed. Rest of the players are the same who were part of the team during India’s tour to Ireland. The command of the team in Ireland was in the hands of Jasprit Bumrah. But, since Bumrah has been rested after playing the World Cup, Suryakumar Yadav is the captain in the T20 series against Australia. However, the question here is not about captaincy but about those 6 players, about whom the Indian selectors seem to have accepted that their career is now over. Although no claims can be made about this, it seems that this is what is happening.
Now you will ask who are those 6 players? So those 6 players of Indian cricket include the names of Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Tripathi, Deepak Hooda and Deepak Chahar. While choosing the team for the T20 series against Australia, it seems that the Indian selectors did not even consider these 6 names. It is not that the performance of these players in T20 cricket is not good. If you look at his statistics, average, strike rate, number of wickets etc., you will get to know it well yourself.
It was fully expected that after the World Cup, when the senior batsmen would be on rest, Sanju Samson would be selected for the T20 series against Australia. There was some confidence in this because he had scored half-centuries in 2 of the last 8 T20 innings. On top of that, due to the absence of Shreyas and Rahul, Samson was perfect to fill the hole that was visible in the middle order of the team. But, when the team was selected for the T20 series against Australia, Sanju Samson’s name was not there.
Just as Samson was out of the Asian Games and World Cup team, he was also out of the series against Australia. Before all this, he became a part of India’s Asia Cup team. But look at the humiliation that after KL Rahul joined, he was sent home midway through the tournament. The question is how long will this continue. How long will this continue to happen with the batsman who scores runs at a strike rate of around 134 in T20 International?
When there will be no spinners like Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja in the team, then Yuzvendra Chahal is sure to get a chance. This did not happen but most people had the same feeling about the T20 series against Australia. Chahal’s return to Team India from this series was considered almost certain. But, like Asia Cup and World Cup, Chahal remained out of the series against Australia also.
This behavior of the Indian selectors with Chahal is when he has taken the maximum number of 96 wickets for India in the T20 International format of cricket.
16 wickets in 14 matches of IPL 2023 and then 16 wickets in just 7 matches of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2023. The question is, what else do the selectors want from 33 year old Bhuvneshwar Kumar? Swing is his strength. Apart from this, the speed has also increased. Now even after all this, if Bhuvneshwar Kumar does not get a chance in Team India, then the point remains that his career is over. These questions are also being raised.
Even if there is no reason for Bhuvi’s selection, it is understandable. But, when bowlers like Shami, Bumrah, Siraj were not in the team in the T20 series against Australia, it was necessary to at least try out their form and experience.
Rahul Tripathi’s strike rate is around 145. This strike rate is considered better in T20 International. But, even after this, Rahul Tripathi’s name is missing from the team for the T20 series against Australia. Tripathi played his last T20 against New Zealand this year. Recently, he has also scored runs at a strike rate of around 143 in SMAT 2023.
Deepak Hooda is the highest run-scorer for his team Rajasthan in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy 2023. His strike rate has been more than 135. But, when we look at Team India, their name is also not in the T20 series against Australia. The big thing is that this is when Hooda’s strike rate is close to 148 in T20 International.
Now coming to Deepak Chahar. This 31-year-old player, returning from injury, took the maximum of 10 wickets in 5 matches for his team in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy 2023 and then scored runs, that too with a strike rate of around 172. Deepak Chahar has an amazing ability to take wickets with the new ball. Dhoni is seen making full use of this ability in IPL. In such a situation, the question is whether Team India does not trust Chahar that it has not selected him for the T20 series against Australia?