March 24, 2023

Test career uncertain, Ishant Sharma ‘unreachable’ for Ranji | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Indian cricket seems to be close to hitting the transition button. TOI understands that the team management is planning to move on from Ishant Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.
While Wriddhiman has communicated to Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) that he is not available for the Ranji Trophy, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has not received any sort of message from Ishant on his availability. DDCA waited to hear from Ishant till Wednesday afternoon before sitting down to pick the team which is scheduled to leave for Guwahati on Thursday morning.

TOI has learnt that both Wriddhiman and Ishant have been spoken to about their future by the senior members of team management and selectors. “They have been told that the Indian team management is looking to groom the next line of players. Their chances of playing Tests would drop drastically,” a BCCI source told TOI.
As for Rahane and Pujara, it has been learnt that the out of form duo have been put on notice. They may have to score heavily in domestic cricket to cement their places in the Test team.
“Things don’t look flowery for Rahane and Pujara too. They are playing Ranji Trophy which is a good sign. They are walking a tight rope though,” the source said.

Ishant was not played in any of the three Tests in South Africa. He hasn’t attended Delhi’s Ranji Trophy camp either. With Rishabh Pant evolving as a first-choice wicketkeeper, Wriddhiman’s chances of getting a game is bleak.
TOI understands the team management is keen on investing in KS Bharat as the backup wicketkeeper for Test cricket.
India are due to play two Tests against Sri Lanka at home next month. They will be playing another two Tests in the year. Barring a solitary Test in England in July, India will be playing in Bangladesh and India in the rest of the World Test Championship cycle.
“This is a good chance to give youngsters a longer run. However, the house is still divided on Pujara and Rahane. With Covid playing a big role, the dearth backup middle order batters for the next line is going to be tough,” the source added.
As for the pace attack, it is learnt that Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan and Navdeep Saini are being groomed for the longest format.

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