India captain Virat Kohli and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah are set to be rested for the limited overs series against the West Indies, scheduled in the United States and the Caribbean, starting August 3.
Kohli and Bumrah will however be back for the two-Test series which is a part of the inaugural World Test Championship. “Virat and Jasprit will certainly be rested for the three-match T20Is and three-match ODI series. Virat has been playing since start of Australia series and Bumrah’s workload management is also paramount. They will join the team before the Test series,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
There could be a few others too who will be given rest during the series after a gruelling World Cup campaign, where India are all but assured of a semi-final berth with four wins in their kitty. If India make it to the finals, then the key players will be playing till July 14 and it would be necessary to give the premier batsmen and some fast bowlers adequate rest.
In fact, the BCCI in consultation with the Cricket West Indies has chalked the itinerary in a manner that Test matches, which were earlier scheduled at the start of the series, will now be held after the T20s and the ODIs. “With first Test in Antigua starting August 22, there would be enough time for the key members in the World Cup squad to get much needed rest,” he said.
It is expected that Kohli and Bumrah will join the squad before the three-day practice game in Antigua from August 17-19. Since Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari will play A games in West Indies, by the time the seniors arrive, the warm-up game could be used judiciously, is what the selection committee feels.
The West Indies series will also mark a shift in focus for the outgoing selection panel, which will start the process of T20 team selection keeping in mind next year’s World T20 in Australia. Few like Krunal Pandya, Shreyas Iyer, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson are going to be tried out in the T20 version.
In the three-match T20 series, the first two games will be played at Fort Lauderhill in Florida on August 3 and 4