Following the brouhaha revolving around fresh injuries, Suresh Raina, not Gautam Gambhir will captain India in the ODIs and Twenty20 series against the West Indies after the IPL 4.
Shikar Dhawan and Manoj Tiwary come in as replacement for Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, the latter pulling out this morning over a lung infection. The absence of these two players – Gambhir was even named the Indian captain – will greatly weaken the team that was already missing seven big Indian cricketers when the Indians selectors first announced the ODI squad for the West Indies series.
Suresh Raina will have the opportunity to lead the team although the team at his disposal will miss virtually all the prominent names barring the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Virat Kohli. In that sense, for Raina it may be a challenge but not a hugely enticing prospect for the already fatigued Indian fans who have foregone the bulk of the IPL 4 season.
The West Indies have reason to believe that they may have been shortchanged but the reality of the matter comes through when five cricketers are rested including Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Zaheer Khan while several cricketers are ending up nursing injuries aggravated over a jampacked cricket schedule. The toll of schedule on players is perhaps making its greatest statement as well as the fact that it is the West Indies and not South Africa or Australia that the India are facing following the IPL 4.
India’s ODI squad for West Indies (revised):
Limited-overs squad: Suresh Raina (captain), R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Harbhajan Singh (vice captain), Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Parthiv Patel (wk), Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Manoj Tiwary, Shikhar Dhawan