MS Dhoni, the former India skipper, has been excluded from the Indian team for the upcoming three Twenty20 Internationals against West
Indies and Australia. The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced the squads for the West Indies Twenty20s, Australia
Twenty20s and the Tests in Pune in a press conference that was chaired by chairman of selectors MSK Prasad and BCCI Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary.
The exclusion of Dhoni comes as a big surprise at a time when questions have been raised about his form and his finishing prowess. The omission could also mean that the selectors want Dhoni to just focus on ODIs before the 2019 World Cup. This is the first time in his entire playing career that Dhoni has been dropped from the national side ever since he established himself as one of the pillars of the Indian team.
Krunal Pandya included
The notable name included in the squad for the West Indies and Australia T20 Internationals is Krunal Pandya, the elder brother of Hardik Pandya. Krunal has been a key player for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and his skills with both bat and ball will give the team some depth. Khaleel Ahmed, who made his debut in the Asia Cup and played an ODI against West Indies in Guwahati, has also been included in the Twenty20 squads.
Another interesting name in the squad is Shahbaz Nadeem, the left-arm spinner. The Jharkhand bowler has been in great form in the domestic circuit, picking up 8/10 in a List A game, the best figures in the history of List A cricket and has been in good form in the Deodhar Trophy as well as the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Hardik Pandya, who suffered a back injury in the Asia Cup, has not yet recovered and the selectors will take a call on his availability only after November 15.
Rohit makes a comeback
The Test squad for the four-Test series against Australia also has some notable names. Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel, who both played in the South Africa series but were omitted for the England series, have made a comeback into the side. Parthiv is the second wicketkeeping option behind Rishabh Pant, who impressed in the series against West Indies. Prithvi Shaw, who scored a century on debut, is in the squad and could be an opening option for Murali Vijay, who has been retained despite a poor tour of England.
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There was no place for Mayank Agarwal, who was in the side for the series against West Indies but did not get to play a game. However, Agarwal is in the India A side for the tour to New Zealand which will be led by Ajinkya Rahane.
There was a confounding update on Kedar Jadhav provided by the BCCI. After leaving him out for the last three ODIs against West Indies, they announced an update that Jadhav has been included in the squad for the fourth and fifth ODIs in Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram respectively. Prasad had earlier said that Jadhav was not included in the side due to "history of injuries."
India begin their tour of Australia with thre Twenty20 Internationals starting on November 21. They will proceed to play four Tests and the tour ends with three ODIs. Following the end of the Australia tour, India will play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals in New Zealand.
Squad for West Indies Twenty20Is
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem
Squad for Australia Twenty20Is
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit (vc), Shikhar, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed
Squad for the Australia Tests
Virat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.