After failing to win the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, India will begin the 2023-2025 WTC cycle with a two-match Test series against West Indies, beginning in Dominica from July 12.
Plenty of young faces Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Mukesh Kumar have been named in India’s Test squad, with veterans like Cheteshwar Pujara and Mohammed Shami absent. While Pujara has been dropped after disappointing performances in recent times, Shami has been rested to manage his workload.
In Pujara’s absence, the No. 3 spot icould go to either Gaikwad or Jaiswal. There have been reports suggesting that the left-handed Jaiswal is likely to get a go first. Meanwhile, the experienced Ajinkya Rahane, who made a memorable comeback to the Test side in the WTC final, has been named the vice-captain. He recently heaped praise on Jaiswal and gave the youngster some special advice.
I am so happy for Jaiswal, he has worked so hard: Ajinkya Rahane
“I am so happy for Jaiswal, he has worked so hard, scored runs for Mumbai in domestic cricket and the IPL. He is an exciting talent and the way he is batting is nice. My message to him is that he expresses himself while batting, plays with freedom, and does not think much about the fact that he is playing international cricket,” Rahane said at pre-match press conference.
Jaiswal has played only 15 first-class games but that has been enough for him to showcase his talent. He has scored 1845 runs at an average of 80.21 in the 15 matches. The Mumbai batter has a brilliant conversion rate as he has registered nine centuries and a couple of half-centuries in 26 innings. Pujara had the ability to play long innings once he got set at the crease. Jaiswal’s knack for converting fifties into hundreds could make him a good contender for the No. 3 slot.