Former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar criticised the Indian selectors for ignoring the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sarfaraz Khan for the Test series against Sri Lanka. On Saturday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced squads for Tests and T20Is for the upcoming bilateral series against Sri Lanka.
Rohit Sharma, who is the current captain of the limited-overs team, was named the Test captain of the team after Virat Kohli resigned from the role last month after a 2-1 series defeat to South Africa in their backyard. Rohit will lead the Indian team in all formats.
Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara dropped for the Sri Lanka Tests
Senior players like Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma were dropped from the Test squad while youngsters like Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Priyank Panchal, Saurabh Kumar, Srikar Bharat found a place in the 18-member Indian Test squad.
Ruturaj, 25, has amassed 1349 runs from 21 matches in First-Class cricket at an average of 38.54 but his white-ball batting has allured everyone, he had a tremendous year in 2021, turned out the leading run-scorer of IPL 2021 (635) and the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 (603). Ruturaj is part of the T20I squad but didn’t find a place in the red-ball format.
Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan, who amassed 928 runs in the 2019-20 Ranji season, scored 275 runs against Saurashtra in the first game of the Ranji Trophy 2022 season in Ahmedabad. However, both Ruturaj and Sarfaraz weren’t in the plans of the Indian selectors as they pushed other young players who have been waiting in the queue.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sarfaraz Khan deserve a place: Dilip Vengsarkar
Vengsarkar, who himself was chairman of the selectors for BCCI until 2008, said the current selectors are demoralising Sarfaraz and Ruturaj by ignoring them for selection.
“Ruturaj and Sarfaraz deserve a place (in the Test squad). The selectors are damaging their morale by not selecting them for India,” Vengsarkar told Times of India.
India starts their bilateral series against Sri Lanka on February 24 with the three-match T20I series followed by a couple of Test matches, with the first Test scheduled to begin on March 4 in Mohali.