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Cricket: India can have fantastic young squad for West Indies and ICC World Cup

By Sudhansu R Das 

If we observe the performance of the young players in the last IPL matches, we could find many talented youngsters who can be picked for the West Indies tour and for the ICC World Cup. The youth should get a chance in their 20s and not in their 30s; some of the players in their 30s should not play just because of their shining past records. In the last IPL matches, some young players have been identified with great potential. They can be included in the West Indies tour where their ability will be tested. The Indian squad should be a mixture of youth and experience.
The opening slot should go to Ruturaj Gaekward and Shubman Gill. Both are technically sound and they can stay in the wicket. Both are attacking players with good defense. Both should receive tips from the former masters like Sunil Gavaskar, Shehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar so that they could overcome their unseen flaws in their batting. It is very essential for the opening pair to seek advice from the seniors.
The one down should go to Yashasvi Jaiswal and the next slot should go to Sai Sudharshan; both are disciplined, technically good and they have a wide range of strokes. Virat Kohli can be placed in between depending on his consistency in the game. Rahane and Kohli are the main batsmen who can lay the foundation of the innings. We can pick up Ishan Kishan as the wicket keeper batsman. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja should always be in the all rounder list. Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Harshdeep Singh, Bhubaneswar Kumar and Mohammed Shami will manage the pace attack well; all have bites, movement and bounce. Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel are the perfect choice for the spin attack.
The good news is that Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Muhammad Shami, Bhubaneswar Kumar and Bumrah can contribute in batting; they can play the role of pinch hitter also. A few Indian top order batsmen should develop the ability to bowl so that they could be used as surprise weapons in the ICC World Cup; before that they should be tested in the West Indies tour.
So the fantastic squad for the West Indies and the ICC World Cup should be Ruturaj Gaekward, Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, K Sudarshan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Harshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel.
Rohit Sharma, Ravichandra Aswini, Cheteswar Pujara and Umesh Yadav should make room for the youngsters who can instill life into the team. Some of the selectors and officials in the team management should own the responsibility of India’s embarrassing defeat in the 2023 ICC World Test Championship Final against Australia. They should also make room for a new band of selectors and officials before the ICC World Cup. Owning responsibility is an act of bravery. The interest of the nation is above any individual.

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