Just three weeks after his maiden call-up to the Indian Test squad for the West Indies series, Mayank Agarwal finds his name missing from the upcoming Test tour of Australia. Agarwal’s omission is one bizarre decision provided that the right-handed opener was not given a chance to feature in the playing XI of two-Test series against West Indies.
Agarwal has been named in the 15-member India ‘A’ squad which will tour New Zealand just before the Test series Down Under. The India ‘A’ side will play three four-day games against New Zealand ‘A’ in order to acclimatize to the Australian conditions.
Considering the way BCCI’s selection committee led by MSK Prasad left out Agarwal without being tested at the highest level even once, former India pacer Zaheer Khan has said that it is totally unfair on the Karnataka batsman.
“It’s not really fair for someone like Mayank Agarwal who’s been part of the team. As a player if you’re part of the team, you get picked in the playing XI, you have a bad day, it doesn’t matter," Zaheer told Cricbuzz.
“That’s something as a player you can live with. But if you’ve been part of the squad and not really got an opportunity to play or showcase your talent, that’s something which is really hard to deal with. Like today, Mayank Agarwal was sitting there and thinking that ‘What did I do wrong? Did I not serve the drinks properly?’ He must have done everything possible,” he added.
Zaheer, however, was pleased with the selectors’ decision to call back Murali Vijay in the Test squad.
“The fact that he’s (Mayank) not there right now will be hurting him, but nonetheless I think Vijay is a very correct kind of opening which is a rarity – he’s like one of those classic openers which will be useful in Australia because you need to anchor one side as well,” he asserted.
On Friday night (October 28), BCCI's selection committee named the 18-member squad for the Australia Test series. While Murali Vijay was given another go to prove his mettle after a disappointing show in South Africa England, Shikhar Dhawan was left out. The other two openers for India are - Prithvi Shaw and KL Rahul. While Shaw sealed his spot with his consistent showing against the Windies at home, Rahul was picked in the team despite his recent failures.
India’s Test squad for Australia tour:
Virat Kohli(c), Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar