National selectors led by MSK Prasad on Saturday announced the 14-member squad for first two ODIs between India against West Indies. Virat Kohli returns to lead the side while Rishabh Pant got his maiden ODI call-up. However, Dinesh Karthik has been left out. The first ODI will be held on October 21 in Guwahati. It will be followed by the second in Visakhapatnam on October 24.
Ever since his debut in England Rishabh Pant’s name was being considered for ODIs. “We all know that Dhoni will play till the World Cup but there is no harm in grooming Pant, who could be a terrific No.6 or 7 batsman, who has the ability to finish games,” a senior BCCI official privy to selection matters told PTI. Since his debut Test hundred at the Oval followed by a stroke-filled 92 in Rajkot, calls for the 20-year-old’s inclusion have only grown louder.
The responsibility of the batting department will rest on the shoulders of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, KL Rahul Manish Pandey. Kedar Jadhav’s dodgy hamstring will rule him out of the limited-overs leg. While the pace battery will feature Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur. Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will be the spinners in the squad.
SQUAD: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk),Rishabh Pant, R Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul