Middle-order batter Rinku Singh's non-selection in the Indian T20I squad for the upcoming West Indies series has come as a rude shock for fans of the sport in the country.
The Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel instead, chose Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma as the two new faces in the squad to be led by Hardik Pandya.
While Jaiswal's selection is justified after the Rajasthan Royals opener's stupendous season in the Indian Premier League 2023, picking Varma ahead of Rinku is baffling to say the least.
Selectors show faith in Yashasvi Jaiswal
Jaiswal ended IPL 2023 as the fifth highest scorer with 625 runs from 14 matches at 48.08, which included a hundred and five fifties at the top of the order for the Royals.
While Jaiswal's heroics came at the top of the order, Rinku scored all his runs in the middle-order and in most cases, batted with the tail-enders to get Kolkata Knight Riders over the line on several improbably situations in IPL 2023.
Varma picked over Rinku despite latter's better show in IPL 2023
Rinku Singh amassed 474 runs from 14 games in IPL 2023 at an average of nearly 60 with four half-centuries. He was the ninth-highest run-scorer in the league this season, ahead of 27th-ranked Tilak Varma but still the latter was preferred in the Indian squad.
Rinku was being looked at as a finisher for Team India but will have to wait for his chance to shine at the biggest stage.
No fault of Tilak Varma's
While there is no denying Varma's talent and credentials as he too played a few match-winning knocks in the middle order for Mumbai Indians this season, selecting him over Rinku when the latter scored more runs and showed better form in IPL 2023 makes little sense to be honest.
India will play a series of five T20Is in the Caribbean and Florida, USA, from August 3 to 13 with Pandya as the captain.
The selectors have decided to rest captain Rohit Sharma and former skipper Virat Kohli for the T20Is.