Earlier this week, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced its squad for team India’s upcoming tour to Sri Lanka. This new-look Indian team will feature senior India batsman Shikhar Dhawan in his first major international captaincy duty. While he will have the brains of vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar to fall back to, the team will also be bolstered through the addition of some fresh faces from the IPL and domestic circuit.
The New-look India team boasts several young and promising names
The likes of Ruturaj Gaekwad, Chetan Sakariya, Devdutt Padikkal, and Varun Chakravarthy have all been rewarded for their consistent performances. And considering how vocal stand-in coach Rahul Dravid has been about giving opportunities to new comes; it sure seems like a lot of new stars will be unearthed in the Sri Lanka series.
There is, however, a notable exclusion from the T20I lineup that played against England a few months back. While most players from the first-choice team will be unavailable because of the test series in England at the time; Haryana all-rounder Rahul Tewatia will not be involved in that particular tour. And yet he currently finds himself out of the Indian T20I setup.
Former India batsman turned commentator Aakash Chopra has been quite befuddled on Rahul’s ‘unreasonable’ axing from the squad. Over on his YouTube channel, Aakash threw his weight behind the out-of-favor Tewatia; claiming it was ‘grave injustice’ that Tewatia was been dropped despite not getting any opportunities in the international circuit.
‘Grave injustice on Rahul Tewatia’- Aakash Chopra
“Where is Rahul Tewatia? Because last time when the team was picked, Rahul Tewatia was in the team. He did not play there. There cannot be a greater injustice than dropping someone without playing him,” Chopra said on his YouTube show.
For context, Rahul Tewatia had received his maiden India call-up in team India’s T20I home series against England in early March. The call-up was a direct reward for his consistent showing in the IPL and the domestic circuit. In fact, it was Tewatia’s freakish performance against the Punjab Kings in Sharjah-an an inning of remarkable grit and turnaround, that saw him hit Sheldon Cotrell for 30-runs in one over that really earmarked him as one of India’s most promising lower-order batsmen.
However, in the buildup to the England series, Tewatia seemed to have been struggling with some fitness issues, which prevented him from making his international debut. Aakash Chopra empathized with the youngster and said it was unlucky that he couldn’t get a chance to prove his mettle.
“When you select someone in the Indian team, his entire family, clan, and coaches become happy that the player whom they have invested in since childhood has been selected. You did not give him a chance to fail or succeed and you dropped him.”
‘Gowtham selection surprising; hasn’t played IPL for quite a while’
Furthermore, Aakash expressed surprise at the fact that Tewatia’s former Rajasthan Royals’ teammate, Krishnappa Gowtham, got picked ahead of him. Gowtham, the 32-year-old CSK all-rounder has also been a fringe India player, much like Tewatia, and has often toured with the Indian team as a nets player. But performance-wise, Aakash reckons, Gowtham hasn’t really been able to make his presence felt in the IPL.
“Krishnappa Gowtham name was not there in the selection last time. It’s not like he played a single match of the IPL in between. He was in captain Dhoni’s team but was not played a single match. So that’s a bit of a bizarre thing,” Aakash concluded.