Team India were expected to enter the transition phase during the Test series in the Caribbean. With at least five to six of the current crop of players certain to make way for the youngsters in the next couple of years, the national selectors didn’t have a better opportunity to test the young guns than the two-match series against a low-ranked West Indies.
The selectors though didn’t show the courage to rest a Rohit Sharma or a Virat Kohli. Workload management of the India regulars is a big issue but the selectors failed to make use of the opportunity ahead of the busy schedule.
Even Sunil Gavaskar flayed the move to include Rohit and Kohli for this series. “What did the selectors learn that they didn’t know already,” the former captain asked in reference to the runs scored by both the star batters.
While both Rohit and Kohli scored a century each, it was the performance of young Yashasvi Jaiswal, who made his debut in Roseau, Dominica, that stood out. It was not just about Jaiswal, Shubman Gill’s decision to drop to No.3 could also prove to be a game-changer in the long run. Mohammed Siraj also proved that he has the potential to lead the attack.
Jaiswal’s class act
The opener made the position his own with his debut century. In the company of Rohit, Jaiswal prospered in every innings though lack of concentration led to his dismissal in both the innings in Port of Spain.
But it has been a good lesson for the 21-year-old. That he finished as the highest run-getter with 266 runs is evidence enough for his talent and adaptability.
Adapting to No. 3 spot
Stepping into the shoes of Rahul Dravid and Cheteshwar Pujara is not easy but Gill knows how to adjust to certain situations. It is a position Gill wants to “consolidate” considering he played most of his cricket batting at No.3/4.
He may not have been successful in this series but is sure to prove his class given the enormous talent he possesses. With Jaiswal almost certain to partner Rohit at the top, Gill will provide the perfect cushion against any bowling attack.
Coming out of the shadows of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Siraj showed why he has been regarded as one of the toughest fast bowlers to face in the last couple of years. Besides possessing an incisive outswinger, he has worked on and developed the ball that snarls back into the batter.
He is close to being a complete fast bowler and will form a lethal combination once both Bumrah and Shami are back.