The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday announced the squad for the last three matches of the five-Test series against England. Shreyas Iyer was left out, Virat Kohli was unavailable due to personal reasons, while Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul have been named in India’s 17-man squad, although their participation is subject to fitness clearance from the BCCI medical team.
While Iyer’s absence and the real reason behind it remained the focus of the team’s announcement, the BCCI’s move also indicated that India has started looking beyond veteran stars like Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav even though the batting order lacks experience and pace bowling. lineup completely trusting Jasprit Bumrah.
Umesh, who last appeared for India in the World Test Championship final against Australia in June 2023, seemed particularly hurt by the non-selection, especially after an impressive run in the ongoing domestic season in which he took 19 wickets. in seven innings.
On Instagram after the team announcement, Umesh posted a story saying: “Kitaabon par dhool jamne se, kahaaniyan khatm nahi hoti (Stories do not end with the dust that accumulates in books).”
The BCCI selection committee has chosen Akash Deep as an additional seamer in the lineup. The Bengali quick, who took 103 wickets in 28 first-class matches at 11.18pm, earned his first call-up.
Umesh’s non-selection came amid worrying numbers from India’s second seamer. The Indian fast bowling unit took 16 wickets in two Tests, with Bumrah accounting for 14 of those dismissals at just 10.66. Mohammed Siraj was wicketless in the opening Test, where he bowled just 11 overs. Mukhesh Kumar, who replaced him in the India XI for the Vizag match, averaged 70 in 12 overs for a single wicket.
Umesh has a stellar bowling record at home. No Indian quick has picked as many wickets as him since 2018 – 43 wickets in 11 matches at 18.25 with two five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul. Mohammed Shami has 38 wickets to his name in as many Tests, while Bumrah picked 29 wickets in six matches.