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3 mistakes India's selectors made with the squad for the West Indies ODIs

India v Pakistan - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
India v Pakistan - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
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Sai Krishna

India have announced their squad for the three-match ODI series against the West Indies, scheduled to be played later this month.

In a surprise move, key players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya have been rested. Shikhar Dhawan has been named the captain of the side, with Ravindra Jadeja as his deputy.

India's squad for the West Indies ODIs: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Ravindra Jadeja (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.

The lead-up to the 2023 ODI World Cup has begun, and India need to shift all their focus to white-ball cricket immediately. Here are three mistakes the selectors made while picking the squad for the West Indies ODI series.


#3 India have very few specialist middle-order batters

Northamptonshire v India - T20 Tour Match
Northamptonshire v India - T20 Tour Match

An unfortunate consequence of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where most of their premier batters try to face as many balls as possible, India have been left with very few specialist middle-order batters.

Among the squad for the West Indies ODIs, names like Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer can bat in the middle order but they are ideally to be used in the top four. The same goes for Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan, both of whom have been in the reckoning for a demotion in the batting order for a while now.

Apart from vice-captain Jadeja, the squad doesn't boast any specialist finishers either. The T20I squad against Ireland had the luxury of Hardik and Dinesh Karthik, but the Men in Blue might struggle to capitalize on potential good starts.


#2 India shouldn't have rested Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

England v India - Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match: Day Five
England v India - Fifth LV= Insurance Test Match: Day Five

Ever since taking over as India's full-time captain, Rohit Sharma has missed a large number of games through injury and rest. Having recently recovered from COVID-19 and being part of the team for the English white-ball leg, Rohit was expected to take the field against West Indies and give himself some much-needed match practice.

However, he, along with his predecessor Virat Kohli, are absent from the squad. The ODI format is probably Kohli's best bet to find some touch, with the former Indian skipper having been in a miserable run of form over the last two years. Rohit, meanwhile, has crossed the 50-run mark only twice in the nine ODI innings he has played since the beginning of 2020.

Resting players like Bumrah and Hardik makes sense, but Rohit and Kohli really should've been part of the team.


#1 India are taking a step backwards by naming Shikhar Dhawan as captain

India v England - 3rd One Day International
India v England - 3rd One Day International

With names like Rohit, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant being absent, India had to look elsewhere for captaincy options. They've already had six captains this calendar year and have decided to field another new name in veteran batter Shikhar Dhawan.

Dhawan led India on their difficult tour of Sri Lanka last year and is still one of the team's frontline ODI openers, but isn't appointing him as skipper taking a step back? He is unlikely to be part of the side post the 2023 World Cup, and India could've tried out a younger captain with an eye on the future.

Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer aren't guaranteed to be part of the ODI playing XI, but giving them a chance at the helm would've been ideal. While Kishan has captained at the U-19 and first-class levels, Samson and Iyer have proven themselves in the IPL.


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Q. Should India have named a different captain for the West Indies ODIs?

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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