IPL or domestic cricket or both? The selection criterion for the Indian team has become a huge topic of debate after the BCCI announced squads for Test and ODI series against West Indies, next month. While the squad for the ODIs remained more or less similar with a couple of forced changes, the Test team threw up a few talking points.
Cheteshwar Pujara got dropped on expected lines but the inclusions as part of BCCI's transition plan raised a few eyebrows. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad were the two youngsters included in the Test squad for the two-match series against the West Indies but the names of Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan and Abhimanyu Easwaran were nowhere to be seen despite being such consistent performers in Ranji Trophy.
Sarfaraz's absence, in particular, irked many former cricketers as they were left asking as to what else the Mumbai batter needs to do having scored 2042 runs in first-class cricket in the last two years at a whopping average of 92. Since Gaikwad and Jaiswal did really well in the IPL, they got the nod ahead of a few other deserving candidates and former India opener Abhinav Mukund was left wondering about the incentive for a young player who wants to play for his state.
"Unable to understand these selections- too many thoughts in my head to compile into a tweet. But what is the incentive for a young player to take pride in playing for his state anymore? Clearly the franchise route is a faster way to scale the grade," Mukund wrote on Twitter.
While Jaiswal has been doing consistently well in domestic cricket as well as IPL, Gaikwad's returns in domestic cricket weren't up to the scratch and hence there will be pressure on the Maharashtra batter if he does get a chance in the Caribbean.