Cricket in the post-COVID-19 world might see one team playing two formats at the same time in a bid to make up for the lost time owing to the coronavirus pandemic. While the chances of it happening is bleak, many veteran cricketers have joined the bandwagon in naming their two separate squads for their nation if there were to play on the same day. And on Wednesday, former Indian chief selectors and ex-cricketers, MSK Prasad and Kiran More, named their 12-man squad for the Indian team in Test and T20I format.
Prasad, whose term as the chief Indian selector finished only earlier this year, gave more preference to the Test side owing to the ongoing World Test Championship and hence opted fringe players for the T20I squad who were in the list of probables for the World T20 this year in Australia.
"Because of the ongoing World Test Championship I thought we should give priority to Test squads rather than distributing the top players into two different squads. This way we also bring in the fringe players who are on the probable list for T20 World Cup," he told ESPNCricinfo.
Barring Rohot Sharma, the Indian Test team picked by Prasad is the same as the one that featured in the recent tour of New Zealand. Rohit had missed the series owing to a shoulder injury and Prithvi Shaw was named as his replacement.
In the T20I side, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey have been given the crucial No.3 and No.4 spot with Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya playing the role of finishers alogside Krunal Pandya. He also named KL Rahul as the captain and wicketkeeper while Bhuvneshwar Kumar as his deputy.
MSP Prasad's squad -
Explaining his selection, Prasad reckoned that all 12 of them selected themselves for either format. Prasad also wanted to name the third opener in both the formats - Prithvi in Tests and Sanju Samson in T20Is.
"As far as the selections went, all 12 picked themselves. In the T20Is, KL [Rahul] will be captain and wicketkeeper along with Bhuvneshwar [Kumar] as his deputy. Ideally, I would have wanted to pick 13 so I could pick Prithvi [Shaw] as a third opener in Tests and Sanju Samson for the T20Is," he explained.
Kiran More squad -
Test: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Hanuma Vihari.
T20I: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav.
"I did toy with the idea of having Rohit [Sharma] lead the T20I team, but then I have always preferred experience in Test squads. He was injured during the New Zealand tour this year and India's batting struggled in his absence. Prithvi [Shaw], his replacement, is still new to international cricket and having him open with Mayank [Agarwal], it adds pressure to the middle order, as was evident in New Zealand. Rohit provides both heft as well as balance in the top order," More told ESPNCricinfo.
"The other selection I had to think twice about was picking Rishabh Pant over Wriddhiman Saha. Eventually, I went for Pant because of his batting, mainly. He got centuries on the away tours to England and Australia, two of the toughest places to bat."