The national selectors have named the Indian squad to face Australia in the upcoming five match ODI series. Contrary to what was expected, Rohit Sharma has been named in the squad for the entire series with Virat Kohli returning following the rest. Kohli had sat out two ODIs against New Zealand and the three T20Is.
BCCI have named two separate squads for the five match series with separate one for the first two ODIs and another for the remaining three. The difference between the two squads sees Bhuvneshwar Kumar return for the last three ODIs with Sidharth Kaul getting a call up for the first two ODIs. Dinesh Karthik has not been included in the ODI squad with Rishabh Pant named in the squad after missing the New Zealand series.
“That we have included him (Pant) considering many factors. He is a left-hander and we needed to discuss with the team management, which we have already done,” said chief selector MSK Prasad after the meeting.
“Virat was also a part of the meeting. We will try and figure out the best possible batting position, because being a left-hander, there is an advantage of playing left-right combination, we are discussing all that,” Prasad added.
“Prior to this series, we had two series in New Zealand and Australia and that’s where Karthik was chosen because Rishabh played four test matches. So we wanted him to get a good break. He had a 20-day break, then he played couple of ODIs against England lions where he did well, then we send him to T20 matches. We want to give him a few games before taking a final call,” said the former India stumper, informing that 30-member probables list will be released by March 25.
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 15, 2019
Speculation has been put to rest on Rohit Sharma being given a rest for the limited-overs series as he is included in the squad for all the three ODIs as the vice-captain of the side. India’s premier fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah has also been named in both the squads after being rested for the limited overs series in Australia and New Zealand.
KL Rahul, who was dropped from the Indian side along with Hardik Pandya after their controversial comments on a TV show, returns as the third opener in place of Shubman Gill despite struggling in ODI matches for India A against England Lions recently. He, however, scored 89 and 81 in the two first-class matches to ensure his return.
Khaleel Ahmed, who was a disappointment in New Zealand, has been dropped with Jaydev Unadkat not considered for selection, it is unlikely that the scenario will change prior to the World Cup unless there are some ground-breaking performances in the IPL. “Khaleel has been playing for the last two series and we seen him and we would like to see Siddharth Kaul also,” said Prasad.
Hardik, who had initially been included for the entire limited overs series, pulled out later due to a “lower back stiffness.” His place in the ODI squad went to Ravindra Jadeja with no replacement named for the T20Is.
The engagement with Australia starts February 24 with the first T20 International in Visakhapatnam, while the World Cup is scheduled from May 30.
India squad for 1st and 2nd ODI: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Sidharth Kaul, KL Rahul.
India squad for remaining 3 ODIs: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohamed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.