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Fit-again Dhawan, Saha back in squad; rookie Chahar gets maiden T20 call-up
Mumbai: Opener Shikhar Dhawan Sunday 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 formats.
Rookie leg-spinner Rahul Chahar emerged as the lone new face across three formats for the upcoming overseas assignments, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been rested for the tour. Also coming back into the ODI squad are Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey.
Promising batsman Shubman Gill, though, missed out on selection. The squads for the T20, ODI and Test series were announced by the MSK Prasad-led selection committee. 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. 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.” “We had certain plans for the World Cup but after that we have to give opportunities to youngsters who will go on to play for long,” Prasad said of the the young faces in the limited overs squads. The young Prithvi Shaw was not part of the squad as he is recovering from an injury.
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).
The tour will conclude with a two-Test series (August 22-26 and August 30- September 3). India’s squad for 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 ODIs: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini. (PTI)