Stellar performances at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season has earned some of India’s brightest stars call-ups for the upcoming West Indies tour. The five-game T20I West Indies tour sees fast-rising cricketers like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma earn their first call-ups respectively to feature for the Men in Blue.
Ajit Agarkar took over as the Chief Selector for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently. Fans were expecting something of a revolution from the legendary cricketer turned selector, and it seems there will be no disappointments from his selections.
In his first roundtable meeting as chair of India’s Senior Selection Committee for the national team, Agarkar’s team brought in more batters with aggressive playing styles. The committee opting to go for a couple of talented leftie batters is another pointer to their desire for unique, daring cricket in the national team.
Who are the New Faces for India in the T20I Squad?
1. Yashasvi Jaiswal
21-year-old Rajasthan Royals batter Yashasvi Jaiswal is one of the few new players chosen to be part of India’s Test squad this season. He remains a breakout talent over one month after the end of IPL 2023.
Jaiswal currently holds an exciting record as the only player without a cap in IPL history to score over 600 runs in a season. His 625-run haul at IPL 2023 made him a talent selectors could not ignore going into Test cricket. Jaiswal averaged 48.07 runs per game with a decent 163.6 strike rate to boot.
He also got five (5) half-centuries and a century throughout his major runs haul, bettering many veteran batters with dozens of national caps this season. Jaiswal was just 2 points shy of a second century this season when he racked ninety-eight (98) points against the Kolkata Knight Riders this season.
Jaiswal’s performances this season earned him praise from several legendary cricketers. It is only fitting that he gets his first call-up after breathtaking performances at this IPL this season.
2. Tilak Varma
20-year-old Tilak Varma also makes it to India’s T20I squad for the West Indies tour, earning him his maiden cap. He is one of the IPL’s youngest players of all time and backs up his youth with immense talent. The young, skilled middle-order batter wowed teammates, fans, and commentators at IPL 2023 with his exciting performances.
The Mumbai Indians (MI) signed Tilak for Rs. 1.7 crore rupees at the IPL 2022 mega auction. His bumper deal (Rs. 10 crore per month) at such a young age makes him one of the IPL’s most paid youngsters.
Apart from his huge salary, Varma performs well on the pitch to earn such a pay slip. The young batter recorded an impressive 343-run haul in 11 games; challenging some experienced batters in MI to up their game.
One of Varma’s notable performances at IPL 2023 was against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The young batter also got a breathtaking 84 runs off 46 balls in his team’s season opener, announcing himself onto the cricket scene in style.
The MI batter has a knack for delivering results during challenging scenarios. Fans and commentators will expect Varma to produce similar performances against opposing sides at the West Indies tour.
Which Other Players Make the T20I Team?
Other players who made this team are Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik, top performers from previous call-ups. Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan also make a comeback to the T20I team; boosting India’s fast-bowling arsenal at the West Indies tour. Spin bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are also part of the team for the tour.
Old faces like Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan are expected to open proceedings with Tilak Varma and Yashasvi Jaiswal as middle-order batters. Other players in the squad are Axel Patel, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Sanju Samson.
Which Uncapped Player Was Expected to Make the New Team Selection?
Rinku Singh’s four half-centuries and impressive strike rate (149.5) at IPL 2023 was not enough to earn him a place in the new squad. The talented Kolkata Knight Riders batter delivers an exciting twist to his team’s gameplay.
Many analysts and commentators were expecting Singh’s IPL 2023 performances to earn him his first national team call-up.
Singh delivered his massive batting prowess against top sides like the Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans, amassing over 470 runs at IPL 2023. He managed a 59.3 average in 14 games.
Full India T20I Squad
Hardik Pandya (captain), Suryakumar Yadav (vice captain); Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Shubman Gill; Tilak Varma, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal; Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Umran Malik.