Indian T20I squad to face Australia announced
After winning the ODI series 4-1, the focus of both India and Australia moves towards the three-match T20I series that begins in Ranchi on September 7. The Indian selectors announced a 15-member squad for the series that includes a few surprising names.
The squad led by Virat Kohli includes pacer Ashish Nehra, who last represented the national team during the T20I series against England earlier this year. Also in the squad is middle order batsman Dinesh Karthik, who was not a part of the Indian team during the tour of Sri Lanka and the ODIs against Australia. Shikhar Dhawan, who missed the ODI series to be with his ill wife, returns to the Indian team.
There were some rather surprising exclusions as well. Rishabh Pant, who is touted to be MS Dhoni's successor in the future, was not named in the squad despite impressing for India 'A' in recent times. Meanwhile, Suresh Raina's limited-overs career too took a hit with his name not in the hat either. Raina last represented India in T20Is in the series against England earlier this year.
Ajinkya Rahane will consider himself slightly unlikely to miss out, having had a sensational ODI series. Rahane scored four consecutive fifties in the recently-concluded series that India won 4-1, but the return of Dhawan means there is no place for the right-hander.
Other notable absentees include Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, who were a part of the Indian ODI squad that took on the Aussies. It is good to see the selectors persist with the likes of Yuzi Chahal, Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav as the trio hardy put a foot wrong of late.
R Ashwin, who was not a part of the ODI series due to his county commitments, and Ravindra Jadeja, who was rested for the ODIs, were not considered for selection as the selectors decide to stick with the spin attack that has been successful in the last couple of months.
In all likelihood, Rahul will open the batting with Rohit with Virat, Manish, Dhoni, Jadhav and Hardik providing the support in the middle order. As far as the bowling is concerned, it will be interesting to see which two spinners and pacers get the nod for the three matches.
Squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni(wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Axar Patel.