The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently unveiled the highly-anticipated 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming West Indies T20I tour in 2023.
Despite their impressive performances in the IPL 2023, several notable players, including Rinku Singh and Ruturaj Gaikwad, were unable to secure a spot in the national team.
Led by Hardik Pandya, this squad showcases a mix of young talents and seasoned campaigners who aim to continue India’s success in the shortest format of the game.
The West Indies tour consists of a five-match T201 series scheduled to commence on August 3 at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad.
The subsequent two matches will be held on August 6 and 8 at Providence Stadium in Guyana. Similar to the previous year’s series, the final two matches will be played in the United States, specifically at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill, Florida, on August 12 and 13.
Notable Exclusions from the Squad
1. Rinku Singh:
Despite an exceptional IPL season where he topped the run charts for the Kolkata Knight Riders with 474 runs in 14 matches, Rinku Singh failed to secure a spot in the T201 squad.
The 25-year-old left-handed batsman from Aligarh showcased remarkable finishing skills and played pivotal roles in several match-winning performances. However, his efforts were overlooked for the West Indies tour.
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad:
Ruturaj Gaikwad, a part of the Indian team for Test and ODI matches, also missed out on selection for the T201 series despite his impressive IPL campaign. The 26-year-old opening batsman amassed 590 runs in 16 matches for the Chennai Super Kings.
With nine T201 appearances and 135 runs to his name, Gaikwad could have provided valuable backup at the top order.
3. Jitesh Sharma:
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jitesh Sharma, who was previously part of India’s T201 squad for series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, showcased attacking batting skills during the IPL 2023.
Despite raising hopes for his national debut, Sharma was dropped from the T201 squad for the West Indies tour.
4. Mohit Sharma:
Veteran fast bowler Mohit Sharma, who represented India in eight T201 matches in the past, was expected to make a comeback after eight years due to his impressive performances in the IPL 2023.
Although the 34-year-old picked up 27 wickets in 14 matches, finishing just behind his Gujarat Titans teammate Mohammed Shami, he failed to earn a spot in the T201 squad.
5. Varun Chakravarthy:
Kolkata Knight Riders’ mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy impressed with his bowling during a challenging season.
Despite taking 20 wickets in 14 matches and finishing as the eighth-leading wicket-taker in the tournament, Chakravarthy was unable to secure an opportunity at the international level.
6. Shivam Dube:
Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube played a crucial role in Chennai Super Kings’ title triumph with his middle-order batting exploits in the IPL 2023.
With 418 runs at a strike rate of 158.33 in 16 matches, Dube showcased his abilities with both the bat and his medium-pace bowling. However, he couldn’t find a place in the T201 squad.
7. Virat Kohli:
Despite being the all-time leading run-scorer in T20I international for India since November 2022, he is dropped from the upcoming tour of West Indies 2023.
He was in sublime form in IPL 2023 and looked in great touch throughout the tournament.