Team India is set to embark on its tour against South Africa starting on December 10, featuring a series of three T20 and ODI matches each, followed by two test matches. The squad for these three series was revealed on Thursday, reflecting numerous changes and indicating a potential pause in the careers of certain players.
New Captains for Three Formats
The Indian team has appointed three different captains for each format on this tour. Suryakumar Yadav will lead Team India in the T20 series, followed by KL Rahul taking charge of the ODI team. Finally, Rohit Sharma will steer the team in the longest format, Test cricket. Meanwhile, the exclusion of some players from these three squads has sparked speculations about the future of their careers.
Players Whose Careers Might Take a Backseat
1. Ajinkya Rahane: Ajinkya Rahane, who recently returned to India’s Test team, has been left out for the South Africa tour. Speculations arise about his potential comeback to Team India.
2. Cheteshwar Pujara: Following a disappointing performance in the World Test Championship Final 2023, Pujara was dropped from the subsequent series and now remains absent from the South Africa tour, signaling a potential career break.
3. Jaydev Unadkat: Despite a resurgence in domestic cricket and recent appearances for Team India, Unadkat’s exclusion hints at a possible conclusion to his career.
4. Ishant Sharma: Once a stalwart in Test cricket, Ishant Sharma’s absence from the team for almost two years suggests a diminishing role, with younger bowlers like Mohammad Siraj and Mukesh Kumar gaining prominence.
5. Umesh Yadav: Umesh Yadav, experiencing uncertain selection in recent years, once again misses out on the South Africa tour, indicating a divergence from the selectors’ choices for the future.
The South Africa tour appears to be a pivotal juncture for Team India, and the exclusion of these players implies a potential shift in the team’s strategic direction.