XtraTime Web Desk: As expected young Rishabh Pant has been given a chance in India’s 14-men squad for the first two matches of the five-match ODI series against West Indies on Wednesday. After a much needed break skipper Virat Kohli too has made a return in India’s ODI squad as well.
Dinesh Karthik who was a part of India’s Asia Cup winning squad under Rohit Sharma has been left out and Pant got the opportunity in place of him. Speedster who last played an ODI in the month of September in 2017 has been called back in the side in place of Siddarth Kaul.
BCCI’s selection committee chaired by MSK Prasad and others members like Devang Gandhi, Sarandeep Singh, Gagan Khoda and Jatin Paranjpe sat together in Hyderabad on Thursday to form the squad gave a chance to Rishabh Pant as the second wicketkeeper beside MS Dhoni. They are also looking to fill the spot of the third pacer and that’s why they have included Shami in the squad.
“Mohammed Shami has been included precisely for that reason. We are looking for a third pacer, and preferably a fourth in England,” chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said on Thursday after announcing the 14-member squad. The last time Shami played an ODI was in September 2017 against Australia.
As per the selectors Umesh Yadav too is in contention to get a chance in the limited overs side.
“Of course Umesh Yadav is also part of our pool and as we are looking at a workload management strategy. We’ve decided to rotate our players so that we can avoid break downs,” Prasad said.
Pant played two back to back remarkable innings of 114 & 92 in two back to back tests and proved that he is fully ready to take the pressure in the limited overs as well. Though Pant has played four test matches and four T20Is in his career so far but hasn’t made a debut in ODIs and there is a possibility that he may make his debut in Guwahati in the first ODI.
Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is still recovering from his back injury which he sustained in the Asia Cup and Ravindra Jadeja has kept the spot in place of him in the first two ODIs against the Windies as well. The two pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who were rested in the ongoing test series are back in the ODI squad and left –arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed who bowled brilliantly in the Asia Cup has retained his place.
This will be India’s final ODI series of the year until next January when they will lock horns against the Aussies in Australia. It will be a tough job for Kohli to settle the middle order of the squad as the deadline of submitting the ICC Cricket World 2019 in the month of February and there is a severe headache to settle the middle order of the team.
These five ODIs are India’s last in the format until January, when they face Australia in Australia, and with the deadline to submit squads for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup being February, the Indian team has still not locked in a middle order.
First Two-match ODI squad against West Indies: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur.