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India vs South Africa: Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav Among Those Who Missed the Bus

We take a look at those who missed the bus for now, but are surely in contention for a spot sooner or later.

Cricketnext Staff |September 12, 2019, 7:46 PM IST
India vs South Africa: Hardik Pandya and Umesh Yadav Among Those Who Missed the Bus

The biggest talking point around the selection of the Indian Test squad for the series against South Africa are the inclusion of Shubman Gill and exclusion of KL Rahul.

Rahul seems to have run out of luck after a dismal tour of West Indies, which has given Gill an opening. It's also given white-ball opener Rohit Sharma a chance to make a Virender Sehwag like impact on Test cricket.

In all of this, there are a few names like Hardik Pandya who have failed to make the cut this time around.

We take a look at those who missed the bus for now, but are surely in contention for a spot sooner or later.

Hardik Pandya (Source: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya

Left out of the West Indies series to recover from long grueling season, Hardik Pandya is likely to feel a little hard done after missing out on the Test squad for the series against South Africa.

An important cog in the wheel, the all-rounder is one of captain Virat Kohli’s go-to players in difficult times.

The all-rounder, who has been troubled by back injuries, was hoping to be back in the scheme of things against the Proteas almost a year after his last appearance in the format in England.

PTI

Umesh Yadav

Indian cricket is at a stage where there are plenty of good quality bowling options to pick from, whether they are spinners or fast bowlers. The likes of Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami along with Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and R Ashwin have performed at every possible chance, making it difficult for other bowlers like Umesh Yadav.

Umesh, who has been working hard in the nets since the IPL, played only five Tests in 2018, and just one during the tour of Australia where he claimed two wickets in Perth. In the two tour matches in the West Indies, his first bit of competitive cricket since the IPL, he picked up five wickets and was overlooked.

Umesh however is not worried and said in August that he expects to get his chance at some point given the volume of cricket being played nowadays.

KL Rahul

KL Rahul

The right handed opener has not been in the best nick for a while now and the axe was expected. In his last 12 innings, in ODIs and red ball cricket, Rahul managed to score one century (vs Sri Lanka) and one half century (against Bangladesh) during the World Cup and failed to convert any of his starts during the tour of West Indies.

Is this the end of the road for KL Rahul? Maybe and maybe not because his replacement Rohit Sharma has also encountered his fair share of troubles in red ball cricket.

Rahul, for whom the big centuries seemed difficult to get, will be disappointed to miss playing against a depleted South African team, and will surely go back to the nets to work on his batting much like the way he changed his technique after the Sri Lanka Test in Pallekele. Only this time, the rethink is a must to arrest the slide.

(Image: Twitter)

Abhimanyu Easwaran

The opening batsman most recently scored a brilliant 153 in the Duleep Trophy to help India Red clinch the title with a massive win in Bengaluru. Handed the Bengal captaincy for the season across formats, Easwaran is an India A regular and has been in good form for quite a while

He’s had a blockbuster season in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy, amassing 861 runs, the fourth highest from the Elite Group teams, with an average of 95.66 and studded with three centuries and would not be faulted for expecting a call-up to the senior team.

Easwaran however did not have a great tour of West Indies with the India A side, but he’s spent a lot of time with the legendary Rahul Dravid and feels he is ready to make the step up. For now Shubhman Gill has got the nod ahead of him, but the Dehradun born batsman is surely not far off from the Test team.

(Priyank Panchal/ Facebook)

Priyank Panchal

Captain of the victorious India Red team in the Duleep Trophy recently, Priyank Panchal scored a bagful of runs for the India A team in West Indies and against Sri Lanka A earlier in the year. The Gujarat captain had a fantastic Ranji season scoring 887 runs from eight games, averaging 68.23 with four centuries and five half-centuries.

Panchal, who has a keen interest in psychology, has been playing first class cricket since 2008 and fighting it out with the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Easwaran and Karun Nair.

While the others have had their chance with the Indian team, Panchal is still waiting on the sidelines and will hope to use the Board President’s XI game against South Africa as a stepping stone to international cricket and an already jam-packed Indian batting lineup.

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