As expected, Virat Kohli was elevated to the captaincy of the Indian limited-overs teams when the squads for the upcoming series of three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals against England were named on Friday (January 6).
MS Dhoni, who stepped down from the hot seat earlier in the week, featured in both the squads as the wicketkeeper, while Yuvraj Singh made a comeback to both the teams after a break.
Also included in the ODI team were KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan, who sat out the New Zealand ODIs with injuries – Rahul was also named in the T20I team. Similarly, Suresh Raina, who had missed out on the New Zealand ODIs because of illness after being named in the initial squad, returned for the shortest format. Ajinkya Rahane returned from injury for the ODIs, but has been left out of the T20I squad.
R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also returned, while Rohit Sharma, who recently underwent surgery following a thigh injury, Mandeep Singh, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel and Dhawal Kulkarni were left out of the squad that took on New Zealand for the final two ODIs in the series India won 3-2 back in October 2016.
While the inclusion of Rishabh Pant, 19, in the T20I squad was likely to get a positive response, criticism could be directed at the selectors for the inclusion of Yuvraj. However, the 35 year old, who last played an ODI in 2013 and T20I in March 2016, has had a good run of form with Punjab in the Ranji Trophy 2016-17. The star of India’s World Cup-winning campaign in 2011, he scored 672 runs from five games at an average of 84.
Pant, the Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman, has been in stellar form this domestic season, scoring 972 runs at an average of 81. He finished fourth in the run-getters’ list this season behind Priyank Panchal, Nitin Saini and Prashant Chopra.
Mohammed Shami, meanwhile, made himself unavailable for selection because of his father’s illness.
Dhoni, Rahane to lead in warm-ups
Dhoni was named as the India A captain for the visitors’ first warm-up game on January 10, while Rahane was put in charge for the second game, to be played on January 12. Both the 50-over matches will be played in Mumbai.
There was also drama before the team selection as the BCCI was unclear about who would convene the selection committee meeting. Initially, the understanding was that Amitabh Choudhury, the board’s joint secretary, would be in charge, but as per the amended order by the Supreme Court, he too was deemed ineligible as he has been the office bearer of Jharkhand State Cricket Association for nine years. Due to the confusion, the meeting, which was supposed to start at 12.30pm, started at 3.15pm with Rahul Johri, BCCI’s chief executive officer, in charge.
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Mandeep Singh, KL Rahul, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
Team for first warm-up match: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Siddharth Kaul.
Team for second warm-up match: Ajinkya Rahane (capt), Suresh Raina, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sheldon Jackson, Vijay Shankar, Shabhaz Nadeem, Parveez Rasool, Vinay Kumar, Pradeep Sangwan, Ashok Dinda.