India’s next assignment in cricket will be one of the most important ones in recent history as they will face New Zealand in the final of the first World Test Championship (WTC) at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. For the same as well as the Test series against England that follows in July, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) selection panel led by Chetan Sharma announced the squad yesterday.
The 20-member squad did not have any surprise inclusion as such, but there were some notable calls with regard to exclusions. Prithvi Shaw who had an excellent domestic season and IPL after his horror show in Australia was excluded and so was Hardik Pandya due to his fitness issues and not being able to bowl regularly. The other notable one was that of Bhuvneshwar Kumar whose swing bowling could have been handy in England.
Now, sources from the BCCI have revealed the reasons as to why Hardik Pandya and Prithvi Shaw were left out.
BCCI sources reveal reasons for dropping Hardik Pandya and Prithvi Shaw
A BCCI source spoke to TOI about the selection decision and firstly about Prithvi Shaw, they said, “Prithvi is still very slow across the turf for a 21-year-old. He needs to shed a few more kilos. He also had concentration issues while fielding in Australia. Shaw has been working hard since he returned from Australia. He has the example of Rishabh Pant right in front of him. If Pant can turn things around in a few months, Prithvi too can do it.”
“He has to sustain this form for a few more tournaments. He has often been picked on the basis of one good series and then he has struggled in international cricket, He is too good a player to be ignored for long,” the source added.
On Hardik Pandya, “It doesn’t seem he is being able to sustain the load of bowling. He recovered from back surgery, changed his action but now it’s his shoulder that is bothering him,” the source said.
“Even Pandya realizes that he is vulnerable if he pushes himself with the ball. He is now focusing a lot more on his batting. The team management understands that with the T20 World Cup coming later in the year, it’s better to give him more time off so that he could be in the best shape for the marquee event. He will be used sparingly depending on the match situation,” the source added.
The WTC final begins on the 18th of June.