Eye on youngsters as selectors to pick WI squad

New Delhi: 20 After much hullabaloo, the selection of the Indian team for the West Indies tour will take place on Sunday afternoon in Mumbai and along with the five-wise men — led by M.S.K. Prasad — skipper Virat Kohli will also be physically present in the meeting. While there were reports trying to magnify Kohli’s presence in the meeting as something extraordinary, the BCCI constitution speaks of the captain being present either through call or in person.
Coming to the selection meeting, while the mystery over M.S. Dhoni and his future was solved on Saturday morning as the former India skipper informed the board that he is taking a 2-month sabbatical, all eyes will be on the selectors to see if they start the process of preparing for the 2023 World Cup from this tour itself. After all, good teams start preparing no sooner than one campaign gets over. England did just that after being ousted in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. While Kohli has decided to now make himself available for the limited-overs series of the tour, there will still be quite a few fresh faces, especially after a gruelling season that saw the Indian players first play the Indian Premier League and then the World Cup. The Indians will first play the limited-overs series – three T20Is and three ODIs between August 3 and August 14 — before starting their campaign in the Test championship with two Tests in Antigua and Jamaica.The selectors are expecting a few fitness reports, but it will be unlikely that either Shikhar Dhawan or all-rounder Vijay Shankar will be a part of the touring party. The pace battery of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are also likely to be given a break and that would then see youngsters like Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed being given a go. In the batting too, the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill and Manish Pandey could be given a go-ahead. In fact, it could be a case of the Indian selectors finally giving Shreyas Iyer a chance at the number four spot. At present, Gill and Iyer are the two players who definitely have the arsenal to stand tall and hold fort at that position. (IANS)

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