The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced the central contracts for the 2022-23 season with some interesting picks and misses in the long list. While the likes of Ravindra Jadeja got promoted to the A+ category, a lot of players lost their contracts entirely.
The players who lost their contracts include pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, former Test skipper Ajinkya Rahane, Test specialists Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Hanuman Vihari and seamer Deepak Chahar.
With their exclusion from the list, it seems the end of the road for most of them. Except Deepak Chahar, who has been mostly out due to injuries, all other excluded players might not even get to play for India again. Let us take a look at what caused their exit from the central contracts.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar looked completely out of sorts in whatever games he played in the recent past. He had a forgettable Asia Cup, followed by a not-so-impressive T20 World Cup. Ajinkya Rahane too had a string of unimpressive performances, leading to his exit from the Test team.
After Rishabh Pant sealed his place in the Test team, Wridhhiman Saha was left out. As KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan were the wicket-keepers in India’s squad for the recently-concluded Test series against Australia, it clearly suggests that selectors aren’t looking at Saha now.
The case is quite similar with Ishant Sharma as well. He’s 34 now and India’s pace bowling attack is packed with young bowlers, so there is almost zero chance of Ishant making a cut again.
Hanuman Vihari though is doing comparatively better in domestic cricket, chances of him also making a comeback look slim. There are quite a few younger players with a lot better numbers waiting for a single chance in the Test team.
Now, it leaves just one player: Deepak Chahar. He lost his place in the white-ball team due to the injuries. But the right-arm pacer is expected to return in the upcoming IPL 2023. So, if he does well in the tournament for Chennai Super Kings, he could once again be in the race.
BCCI Central Contracts (2022-23):
Grade A+: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja
Grade A: Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel
Grade B: Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Siraj, Suryakumar Yadav, Shubman Gill
Grade C: Umesh Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Shardul Thakur, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Arshdeep Singh, KS Bharat