The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced four Indian squads for the upcoming tours of New Zealand and Bangladesh. While there were a few first-timers and recalls, there were several notable exclusions from the squads Hanuma Vihari, Sarfaraz Khan (Tests), and Prithvi Shaw (limited overs).
Hanuma Vihari, who was part of the Test squad for the Sri Lanka series at home and the rescheduled fifth match against England, wasn’t even considered for the Bangladesh series. Vihari failed to score consistently, however; he was part of the restructuring in the longest format of the game. But his poor returns and Cheteshwar Pujara’s colossal season in County Championship have meant that he has fallen off the radar.
Explaining the selection, Chetan Sharma said, “Our middle order is packed, you spoke about Pujara and there are the likes of [Virat] Kohli, [Shubman] Gill, [Shreyas] Iyer are there. Some players miss out but it doesn’t mean that they are not in the scheme of things. Right now, we are figuring out based on combinations who would be best suited for the XI for playing in Bangladesh. He was part of the side and he will be part of the squad again, soon.”
Apart from Vihari, another unlucky name would be Sarfaraz Khan, as he missed out after scoring 982 runs in six matches in Ranji Trophy at a whopping average of 122, hundreds in the Ranji Trophy final, Duleep Trophy, and Irani Cup – but he is still not being looked at as a middle-order option in the side.
Talking about Sarfaraz Khan, Chetan Sharma said, “Sarfaraz Khan is being followed and we are giving him opportunities wherever possible. We recently gave him a chance with India A. He is a brilliant player and we are in touch with him but there should be vacant spots in the team.”
He further explained, “He is a brilliant player; he knows it too and the selectors are also in touch with him. He is not that far away. I have spoken to him often. Sometimes, you have to work harder to be included in the team because there are already players for that spot. Otherwise, Sarfaraz has done his job and he is a serious contender and he will definitely get a chance very soon.”
Several senior players are slated to be rested after the T20 World Cup and hence it was a good opportunity for Shaw to use the platform and look to cement his spot, yet other openers were picked in his stead for the white-ball formats. And here is how Twitter reacted:
No Prithvi Shaw in the T20I squad?? Shame on the selectors.
— Srikanth Dhulipala (@SrikanthDhul26) October 31, 2022
Shaw Robbed again https://t.co/VqCmMmllcJ
— Sowmya (@SowmyaVirat18) October 31, 2022
Gill selected in T20Is on what basis when fellas like Shaw nd Tripathi are not even in the mix ?? Bizarre selection none of the squad makes any sense
— Aditya🇮🇳🚩 (@iam_adi_thebest) October 31, 2022
Prithwi Shaw Team Me Kyu Nahi Sayyed Mushtaqu Ali Me Itna Achcha Khela Hai. Team Salection Samajh Nahi Aa Raha Hai. Prithwi Shaw Ka Kya Kasoor. Comming Soon Kah ke Baat Taal Dete Ho Bas
— Aftab Alam (@Aftab7039123853) October 31, 2022