Indian cricket team squad for the England series was announced this Friday as the selectors sprung up a few surprise inclusions. The first limited-over cricket team post the MS Dhoni-led era was announced as the captain’s rein was handed over to Virat Kohli.
The selectors opted for a mixture of the experienced and the young in the squad as they brought back 35-year old Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra into the ODI and T20 squads respectively. Yuvraj was rewarded for his 672 runs spree in five matches for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy this season. He had last played for India in T20 World Cup last March.
The T20 team also includes the 19-year old exciting talent, Rishabh Pant who grabbed the eyeballs of selectors by scoring 972 runs in eight matches in the Ranji Trophy. He has also been assigned the role of backup wicketkeeper to MS Dhoni. Though the selectors said that they were keeping an eye on Ishan Kishan, the Jharkhand player who was the captain of the U-19 cricket team in the World Cup, as a long term replacement for MS Dhoni as the national team’s wicketkeeper.
Even though MS Dhoni has stepped down as the captain, he was still available for selection. Selection Committee chief MSK Prasad praised Dhoni for his sense of timing for relinquishing the captaincy. He said about Dhoni, “He has a couple of years of cricket left and as a wicketkeeper-batsman, he can still make a contribution to the team’s cause.”
The England series starts on 15th January with first ODI in Cuttack while the first T20 match is scheduled for 26th January in Kanpur.
ODI team: Virat Kohli(C), MS Dhoni(wk), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
T20 team: Virat Kohli(C), MS Dhoni(wk), KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Manish Pandey, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant(wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.