The Indian Test team is set to undergo a transition phase as Test veterans like Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ishant Sharma, and Wriddhiman Saha have all been demoted in the BCCI’s annual contracts. Previously, all these players were dropped for the Test series against Sri Lanka starting from 4th March in Mohali.
A report in the Times of India had already predicted that all of them are set to get demotions. While Ishant, Rahane, and Pujara have been put in Grade B from Grade A Saha has been moved to Grade C from B Grade. Another notable demotion was of Hardik Pandya. The all-rounder has moved to Grade C from A.
A+ is worth Rs 7 crore while A, B, and C are Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore, and Rs 1 crore respectively.
As per TOI’s report, Axar Patel and Mohammad Siraj have been promoted to B from C. Shreyas lyer too has earned a Grade B contract. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah have retained their places as Grade A+ players while Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Shami, and R Ashwin have stayed in Grade A.
Pujara and Rahane are still in our future plans: Rohit Sharma
Even though selectors are keen on giving chances to youngsters, India’s new red ball skipper hasn’t completely ruled out the veteran duo of Rahane and Pujara. India’s new all-format leader said it’s hard to fill in for the experience of Rahane and Pujara.
“Look, Rahane and Pujara are big shoes to fill, it will never be easy for whoever comes in, even I do not know who is going to come in for Rahane and Pujara honestly. Look, at what Pujara and Rahane have done for this team, you cannot put it out in words, all these years of hard work and playing 80-90 odd Tests, all those overseas Test wins. India getting to No.1 in Tests, these guys helped us in that situation and they have played a big part in that,” Rohit said during a virtual press conference.
“There is no way that these guys would not be looked upon in the future, they will be in our plans. Like the selector also said, it is just for now that we did not consider them. There is nothing written about them not being considered for the series later on,” he added.
• Rahane, Pujara, Saha, and Hardik Pandya are demoted in the BCCI’s central contracts.
• Axar Patel, Siraj, and Shreyas lyer earn promotions in the contracts.