India squad for WI series has the same old face
Speculations over Captain Virat Kohli being rested for the tour were put to rest as the batting mainstay will lead India across all formats.
Even as BCCI chief selector MSK Prasad said that the youngsters need to be given the opportunity to play for long, the Indian squad for the West Indies tour seemed to have the same old look with the exception of a proper number four in Shreyas Iyer and the rookie leg-spinner Rahul Chahar.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan returned to India's limited overs squad after recovering from a thumb injury while Rishabh Pant was picked in all three formats for the West Indies tour as the selectors braced up for life beyond Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Former India captain Dhoni, who is at the business end of his illustrious career, has made himself "unavailable" for the West Indies tour but ruled out immediate retirement.
Speculations over captain Virat Kohli being rested for the tour were put to rest as the batting mainstay will lead India across all formats. Rahul Chahar is the only new face across three formats for the upcoming overseas assignments, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been rested for the tour.
Shubman Gill, however, missed out on selection; and the young Prithvi Shaw was left out of the squad since he is recovering from an injury.
A notable inclusion was veteran keeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha, who is back in the Test squad after undergoing a shoulder surgery for an injury, sustained during the 2018 IPL. Saha last played a Test match in South Africa in January 2018.
Rajasthan leg-spinner Chahar has been rewarded for his consistent show in the IPL and domestic cricket with a berth in the Twenty20 squad. He is the younger cousin of seamer Deepak, who is also in the T20 squad.
From the World Cup squad, the prominent player to be dropped is Dinesh Karthik, while Hardik and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested as a part of the board's workload management programme. Bumrah, though, is part of the Test squad.
Quite a few of the players were picked based on their performance for India A recently. "We have taken India A performances into consideration. In the longer format, KS Bharat was very, very close to get selected.
“We have an unwritten norm that when an established cricketer is injured, he should get a comeback opportunity. That's what we have given to Saha," chief selector Prasad said.
Pant, who was included in India's World Cup campaign after Vijay Shankar's toe injury, has been named in the squad across all three formats.
Dhawan, whose World Cup journey was cut short due to a thumb fracture during the second group game against Australia, has been declared fit. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the attack in the shortest format with Mohammed Shami joining him for the three ODIs.
Dehli pacer Navdeep Saini has been included in the limited overs side while Deepak Chahar was picked for the T20Is. The selection panel also went for left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed for the limited overs leg. "Rishabh, Wriddhiman and K S Bharat are some of the players we will be looking ahead for Test cricket."
The tour will kick off with a three-match Twenty20 series (August 3, 4, 6) and will be followed by a three-match ODI series (August 8, 11, 14) and a two-Test series (August 22-26 and August 30- September 3).
India's squad for 3 T20Is: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.
India's squad for 3 ODIs: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini.
India's squad for 2 Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, C Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK) Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.