With a lot of cricketing action set for the rest of 2021 and 2022, it would be quite interesting to see which player has cemented his spot in all three formats, at least one format, or players who won't be a regular in one of the formats.
Talking about India, we have a plethora of prospects and with the IPL every year, the list will surely not exhaust. So today, let's discuss India's ideal starting XI in all formats with players who will be regulars in all formats, format specialists, etc.
2021 was a phenomenal year for Indian cricket as Virat Kohli and co. broke several records and achieved numerous milestones. Let's have a look at the regulars in the longest format of the game.
In the past 3-4 years, Sharma has shown his potential as a Test batsman and it's quite evident that we are yet to see a lot from him. Unlike most of the Test batsmen, Rohit Sharma doesn't have a specific weakness, and his dismissals mostly come due to lapse in concentration or poor shot selection. Sharma is likely to be India's regular in Tests.
You don't need any explanation for Kohli's spot in the team. The skipper is undoubtedly India's best Test batsman among active players and that is irrespective of his form.
Kohli's numbers and his performances in and outside India are clear evidence of King Kohli's domineering Test records. Again, a player whose spot is untouched in the side.
Slightly lucky, but KL Rahul is another batsman who is here for a long run. He has earned the right to hold his spot and his temperament makes him unique in his way.
Rahul is one of those players who has stepped up in every format of the game in recent years.
Jadeja was once India's best fielder and don't get us wrong, he remains not only India's but the world's best active fielder. However, what's changed in recent years is his authority with the ball and bat.
Jadeja has moved on from being a bowling all-rounder to an all-around who is well-rounded in all departments. Another reason why "Sir" is going to stay for a long time.
Bumrah has been India's best bowler in all the formats and that sums up his position as a regular. He's had his ups and downs. However, not just India but the world is aware of his potential.
Bumrah, when fresh, is one of the most lethal bowlers in the world.
Test Cricket specialists
No explanations are needed. Pujara has been a player who got his priorities straight quite early in his career. He only misses India's Test games due to injuries. Otherwise, there's no way this man would be kept out.
Critics have often had something to say about Rahane's position in the team. Be it him being India's Vice-captain in Tests or his batting.
Yes, Rahane has struggled this season but we still feel that under Rahul Dravid, he will continue to have the faith of the selectors and the coach for some time.
Times have been tough for India's highest active wicket-taker in Test cricket but Ashwin is a character who we know never gives up. Despite missing some key series, Ashwin is one of the players who will still be a regular in India's Test squad.
Another player who has contrived to be consistent in at least one format, Ishant Sharma has proved that he still has a lot of cricket left in him.
From almost losing his place in all formats, Sharma has emerged as India's must pick in Tests and we feel it would be the same for a few more years.
After witnessing some brutal times, Mohammed Siraj ensured that he never looked back and has thrown all his focus on his bowling. From being just another IPL bowler, Siraj has managed to register some eye-catching influential performances in Tests and that's one reason why he is likely to continue.
India's ideal Test XI
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah.
Iyer has been one player whose game hasn't changed despite undergoing such a long-term injury. Iyer resumed cricket in IPL 2021 from where he had left and he looked great.
At times, there were concerns during his fielding but with time, he has only improved his fitness and made himself available. He is likely to be a fixed no.4 for India in ODIs.
An exceptional talent, Venkatesh Iyer has been brilliant since the IPL and his confidence with the bat and bowl shows that the future is bright for the youngster.
He has the potential to be a regular in all formats but as things stand, he's a player who will be a great ODI and a T20I player especially due to Hardik Pandya's incessant injury concerns.
Surreal …. @BCCI #BleedBlue #attitudeadjustment #IndianCricket pic.twitter.com/nAJLs0MHiK— Venkatesh Iyer (@ivenkyiyer2512) November 25, 2021
Rishabh Pant has barely missed any tests for India. However, his shaky form is a concern at times. But when we talk about the limited-overs, Pant hasn't been at his best recently but his potential is not hidden to the world, and that's why he's likely to stay in the ODI format.
Chahal lost his place in the T20 World Cup 2021 but his IPL performance was a statement that he is capable enough to make a return. And especially in ODIs, his future as a long-term option is secure.
Shami is a bowler who is also very influential for India in Test matches. However, there are still times when someone else is chosen over him.
This also adds to the fact that Shami's position in the ODI squad is quite solid and we can expect him to be a fixed member until some drastic changes are observed.
India's ideal ODI XI
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Yadav is a part of India's Test squad too against New Zealand but he's a long way behind becoming a regular in the red-ball format.
However, he is in direct contention with Shreyas Iyer for the ODIs and T20I spots. In ODIS, Shreyas Iyer holds an upper hand, while in T20Is, it is Suryakumar Yadav. However, if he messes up a lot of chances then a young Ishan Kishan who is also his IPL teammate would be in the pecking order to take his spot.
Practice makes 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙨 📈 pic.twitter.com/ByGluxmh42— Surya Kumar Yadav (@surya_14kumar) November 24, 2021
A player whose ODI spot is taken rightly by Chahal, in T20Is, it's the other way round. Anytime if there's a decision to be made between Chahal and Axar, Axar Patel would get the nod considering his batting potential.
In fact, Axar Patel was exceptional in the last series he featured, if he keeps himself consistent, keeping him out would be difficult.
Yes, we mentioned him in the ODI list too but if we were to choose one, it would be T20Is. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has undergone various fitness concerns, poor form, etc but he is still a very influential bowler.
His position is under threat but we are certain that he will bounce back.
India's ideal T20I XI
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami.
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