The BCCI announced India squads for the upcoming Australian tour on Monday evening. The Indian team will tour Australia for a full-fledged tour after IPL 2020 ends. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team had been out of action for almost seven-eight months. However, the players would have enough match practice in IPL 2020 ahead of the crucial Australian tour.
The cricket universe is highly excited for this tour because it will feature an ICC World Test Championship series between the top two teams on the points table. India and Australia had crossed paths in the longest format of the game during the 2018-19 season, where Virat Kohli’s men made history by defeating the home side 2-1 in the 4-match Test series.
While a few fans argued that Australia missed the experience of David Warner and Steve Smith, the upcoming tour will serve as the perfect platform for the Indian team to silence their critics. Meanwhile, if the squad is concerned, BCCI made a few surprising choices in the squads for the ODI, Test, and the T20I series.
Here’s a look at three players whom the fans did not expect to make the cut:
1. Varun Chakravarthy – T20I squad
Perhaps, the most surprising name present among all three squads is of Varun Chakravarthy. The Kolkata Knight Riders leg-spinner had recently become only the second uncapped spinner to take a five-wicket haul in IPL history. He dismantled the Delhi Capitals with his magnificent figures of 5/20.
The mystery spinner has earned a place in the Indian T20I squad. He will have to perform well in the series because a good outing in Australia can possibly help him secure his spot in the India’s T20 World Cup squad as well. Besides, Varun should also note that many spin bowlers have earned a maiden call-up but they could not seal their position.
The selectors have tried the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya, and a few other spinners in the T20I side. Unfortunately, none of them could cement their place and rather a couple of them got only a solitary match to prove their mettle before being dropped. Thus, Varun will be under some pressure to perform well Down Under.
2. Mohammed Siraj – Test squad
Another selection that raised quite a few eyebrows was Mohammed Siraj gaining a spot in the Test squad. While there is no denying that Siraj deserves a spot in the Indian Test team, not many cricket fans expected him to get international exposure at such a grand level. The Australian tour is considered one of the toughest, and Siraj has not played much international cricket heading into this tour.
He bowled a dream spell against the Kolkata Knight Riders recently. The right-arm pacer became the first bowler in IPL history to bowl two maiden overs in a single IPL game. Nicknamed as ‘Miyan Magic,’ Siraj executed his line and lengths to perfection.
It seems like Siraj’s spell won Virat Kohli‘s heart, and he rightfully earned a place in the Test side. Recently, Siraj had said that it was his dream to don the whites for the country. It will be interesting to see if he can get that chance in Australia this year.
3. Shardul Thakur – ODI squad
The Chennai Super Kings speedster Shardul Thakur has not had a memorable IPL season so far in the UAE. He has picked up nine wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 8.75. The Maharashtra-based pace bowler has got a place in the Indian ODI squad for the Australia.
While Thakur has undoubtedly been a wicket-taking bowler in the limited overs format, his economy rate is something that might concern the skipper Virat Kohli. Shardul has a career economy rate of 7 in ODI cricket. In his previous ODI match, the right-arm fast bowler leaked 87 runs in 9.1 overs.
In the only ODI that Shardul played against the Aussies, he returned with figures of 0/43 in five overs. Thus, it was a bit surprising to see him in the ODI squad. Nevertheless, he is an extremely talented player who can be backed to come good in the 50-overs format soon.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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