India look to rest their key players bearing in mind the Australia Test series and 2019 World Cup

Team India are slated to play four Tests in Australia, with the first Test starting at the Adelaide Oval from December 6.

Team India set to rotate their main players | Getty Images

The Supreme-Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had a meet up with the Indian team management in Hyderabad on Wednesday (October 10), wherein the discussion mostly revolved around the upcoming tour of Australia and the 2019 World Cup.

As per a report in The Indian Express, it has been decided that “resting key players” is crucial in a bid to keep them fresh for the marquee series and tournaments.

“The two major issues discussed in the meeting had been about how to win in Australia and how to win the World Cup,” a source quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

There were plenty of hopes from the Virat Kohli led Indian Test team as they embarked on their England tour after winning 9 of their last 10 series. However, the numero uno Test side couldn’t quite prove their mettle on English soil as they lost the five-Test series 4-1. It was India’s second successive overseas Test series loss after the 2-1 series defeat in South Africa earlier this year.

Team India are slated to play four Tests in Australia, with the first Test starting at the Adelaide Oval from December 6. Against the Aussie side minus Steve Smith and David Warner, India would like to accomplish their first-ever series win Down Under.

On the other hand, the 2019 World Cup will be played in England from May 30. With a little over seven months to go for the showpiece event, the attention has certainly shifted towards it.

“With an eye to that, the main focus was how to rotate players. In fact, more than rotation, it would be more about how to save our key players. That’s why you would see the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Shami in and out of the squad, not playing regularly. The players who are important for all formats will be adequately taken care of. Going ahead also, these things will keep happening,” the source asserted.

The Indian ODI squad in South Africa had Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Shami and Shardul Thakur as the four frontline fast bowlers, with Pandya joining them as a seam-bowling all-rounder. While the Men in Blue clinched the six-match one-day international series with a stunning margin of 5-1, they won the three-match ODI series 2-1.

The ODI squad in England for the three-match series had Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Thakur and Pandya as seamers, with Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul joining the party. While Bumrah couldn’t take part in the series due to a broken finger, Bhuvneshwar played only the third ODI and aggravated his lower-back injury and consequently missed the Test series.

Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar returned for the Asia Cup in the UAE last month. Pandya and Thakur, too, had been part of the team before they got ruled out with injuries. Deepak Chahar and Kaul had replaced them. The 20-year-old left-arm pacer, Khaleel Ahmed, was also part of the Indian team in Asia Cup 2018.

As far as the ongoing West Indies series is concerned – Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar are not part of the Test squad. The selectors have also rested Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar for the first two ODIs against the Windies, while they have retained Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed with Shami coming back to the fold.

India skipper Virat Kohli has also missed the Asia Cup after the daunting England tour. Kohli was one of the very few Indian players who played all the matches on England tour. Moreover, the 29-year-old has been struggling with injuries lately. Before the England series, Virat had missed his maiden county stint for Surrey due to a neck sprain. During the second Test at Lord’s, the India captain suffered a lower-back strain as well.

(With inputs from The Indian Express)


By Salman Anjum - 13 Oct, 2018

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