Focus on Krunal, Shreyas as selectors pick squads for Zimbabwe, West Indies

first_imgThe selectors are expected to reward IPL performers Krunal Pandya and Karun Nair with their maiden call-ups for the short Zimbabwe tour. While Shreyas Iyer for his strong domestic show could find his name for the four-Test series against West Indies, as selectors pick squads for the two tours on Monday.MS Dhoni is expected to say yes for the short Zimbabwe tour and could be his last assignment for this season with India scheduled to play only Test matches starting from the West Indies tour. If Dhoni opts out asking for rest, Ajinkya will be leading a young side to Zimbabwe.However, Virat Kohli would be getting seasoned and experienced players for the Test series at the Caribbean.SHREYAS IYER IN CONTENTIONKohli, Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma are some of the certainties in the squad, while the place for extra batsman might go to Iyer, who has amassed 1321 runs at an average of 73.38 in the current Ranji Trophy season having scored 809 runs in the previous one.Naman Ojha is likely to take the second wicketkeeper’s slot while the fight for the third spinner’s slot is between Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja with little to choose between them.Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are likely to be the other three pacers apart from Ishant while it will be interesting if Jasprit Bumrah will be considered for the longer version with his ability to bowl yorkers.SENIOR PLAYERS TO BE RESTED FOR ZIMBABWEadvertisementAccording to BCCI sources, for Zimbabwe, the selectors will not be considering seniors like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin and Shikhar Dhawan – all of whom have played non-stop for the last six months.For Zimbabwe, KL Rahul, who has scored 348 runs in 13 matches (before the start of DD game,) can be used as wicketkeeper-batsman while Rishabh Pant, whose talent has been the talk of the town, will be a dark horse.With 16 wickets in the IPL, RCB legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal should also fancy his chances for the Zimbabwe tour. In case Dhoni goes, it could be a life-changing opportunity for Pant, who is also a wicketkeeper, to learn from a player of the skipper’s stature.KARUN, KRUNAL IN FRAYKarun Nair, with 346 runs which included a match-winning innings against Sunrisers, is also likely to get the nod. Ambati Rayudu, with a decent IPL, could also be in the Zimbabwe bound squad.But Krunal Pandya of Mumbai Indians, with 237 runs at a strike-rate of 191 plus and six wickets with flat left-arm spin, could be an ideal replacement for Jadeja.In the pace department, Mohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah are certainties while left-arm pacer Barinder Sran with his variety will be a replacement for the injured Ashish Nehra.His fight for the slot will be with Sreenath Aravind. Sandeep Sharma of KXIP could also be a back-up pacer and will fight it out with Bengal’s Ashok Dinda, who has had a decent IPL to be in the mix of things.With dearth of seam bowling allrounders, the fight will be limited between Hardik Pandya and Stuart Binny, both of whom have no notable performance to show for their efforts.(with PTI inputs)last_img

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