Australia vs India: 5 Players who might be axed from the Test squad
While it was a memorable series for some, there were those who would've made their last Test appearance for a while.
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Australia’s troubles in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner intensified in their own backyard in the four-match series against India. The visitors, for the first time Down Under, won a Test series by defeating the hosts 2-1. There were some thrilling performances from both teams throughout the four Tests. However, it was the Indians who managed to hold their nerves in tough situations and thus emerged triumphant.
While there were some scintillating performances on display, few players ended up being massive disappointments. They weren’t able to live up to the expectations and thus let their teams down in crunch times. With a string of low scores and disappointing spells, these cricketers could be axed from the Test squad for the upcoming games this year.
Here are five players who might face the axe after the Australia vs India Test series:
1. Murali Vijay
Murali Vijay is already 34-years-old. He was one of the strongest pillars of the Indian team for a few years especially when they toured overseas. However, Vijay has struggled with his form of late. The opener was dropped from the side after the England series. But, he made a comeback with some good county performances.
A good outing in the practice game and an unfortunate injury to Prithvi Shaw helped him being picked in the XI for the first two Tests. However, he only managed to register scores of 11, 18, 0, 20 in four innings. Eventually, he was dropped for the last two games of the series. With youngsters like Shaw, Mayank Agarwal and even Shubman Gill emerging onto the scenes, it won’t be easy for Vijay to make it into the Test team.
2. Aaron Finch
Australia will only play two Tests against Sri Lanka before the World Cup 2019. Hence, by the time they play another game in the longest format, the regular opener David Warner will be back as his ban ends on 29 March 2019. Due to the lack of options, the selectors were forced to pick Aaron Finch for the opener’s role in the Test side.
Although he started off on a decent note, Finch lost his way and many of his technical flaws have now been exposed to the opposition. The left-hander only scored 97 runs in six innings at an average of 16 in the first three Tests. These numbers are in no way acceptable for an opener. Hence, the selectors might bring back Matt Renshaw for the Sri Lanka series as he has been doing well in the domestic circuit.
3. Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav was picked ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the second Test of the series at Perth where the visitors decided to field four pacers. Yadav is known for his inconsistency and his effort in the match was a testament to that. The pacer was offline for the most part, gave away easy runs and only managed to pick two wickets in the game which was hardly impressive for a frontline bowler.
With this kind of paradoxical performances, it is tough to continue with Umesh in the squad for a long time. Therefore, the selectors might want to explore the other options available keeping the future needs in mind. It would be great learning for any youngster even if he gets to spend some quality time with the Indian squad. There are quite a few fast bowlers in the ranks making a lot of noise with their performances at various levels.
4. Mitchell Marsh
Mitchell Marsh is in the Australian side as an all-rounder. However, he wasn’t able to justify his spot in neither of the two departments leading to severe disappointment. His selection in the third Test was criticised by many and Marsh only added fire to the pyre with his poor show.
The 27-year-old didn’t manage to pick a single wicket in the 26 overs he bowled in the first innings of the third Test at the MCG. On a good batting track, he only aggregated 19 runs in both the innings which let the team down as well considering the fact that he is expected to bat with the lower order and give them the extra runs late in the innings. Mitch Marsh is sure to face the axe and will have to work a lot on his game if he is to make a comeback.
5. KL Rahul
The Indian opener, although a reliable player in limited-overs cricket, has particularly struggled against the red-ball. As batting coach Sanjay Bangar said, he is finding new ways to get out. His problems against the moving ball are well-known and thus the opposition bowlers are making the most of it almost every time.
Rahul doesn’t seem to be a confident bloke at the moment and isn’t getting his shot selection right. He only managed to score 57 runs in five innings at an average of just over 11. A break from international cricket might do him a world of good. By playing domestic cricket for a while, he can regain his lost spirit and come back into the team as a better player.