India captain Virat Kohli and pacer Jasprit Bumrah are likely to to be rested for the upcoming West Indies series beginning August 3. Team India is scheduled to play three T20 Internationals, two of which will be played in the United States, three ODIs and two Tests against West Indies.
According to The Indian Express, Indian selectors want to provide Kohli and Bumrah decent break and want to save their two best cricketers for the long home season ahead.
In Kohli’s absence, vice-captain Rohit Sharma is likely to lead the Indian squad in T20 and ODI series against West Indies. In Tests, Ajinkya Rahane is expected to don the captain’s hat.
India’s tour of West Indies will begin with first T20 International match on August 3. The two Test matches would also mark the beginning of India’s hunt for the ICC World Test Championship for the 2019-21 cycle with the final to be played in England in 2021.
The West Indies series will be India’s first international engagement after it suffered defeat at the hands of New Zealand in the semi-final match in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Team India will return home on July 14. The senior national selection committee is expected to meet on July 17 or 18 to pick the squads for the West Indies.
Kohli and Bumrah will miss the T20Is and ODIs for sure but the selectors are also pondering over giving them rest for the two Tests in West Indies, he Indian Express reported quoting a BCCI source. The team management wants that the two important players stay fresh for the home season ahead as they already have had a hectic season in the past one year, it added. Chief selector MSK Prasad would speak to the team management before picking the squad.
Will MS Dhoni go to West Indies?
As of now, there is no clarity whether the former World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni will travel to West Indies or not. The veteran has faced severe criticism in recent times for his fading ability to add runs quickly in the death overs. After India’s exit from the World Cup, Kohli had said that Dhoni has not conveyed anything to the team about his future plans. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant are likely to be included in the Indian squad for West Indies series.