For a change, the cameras will not focus on the India wicketkeeper when changes in field placements are carried out.
After almost a decade as India’s leader in limited-overs cricket, the baton will pass to Test skipper Virat Kohli when the selection panel meets at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai on Friday to pick teams for the three ODIs and T20Is against England, to be played from January 15 to February 1.
MSK Prasad & Co will also select the team for the two-warm-up one-day matches against England which will be played at the Brabourne Stadium.
With MS Dhoni stepping down as captain on Wednesday, Kohli’s elevation was given after his success in the Test arena in the last couple of years.
After being humbled 2-3 by South Africa at home in 2015, Dhoni’s captaincy was again under the scanner as India just managed to beat New Zealand 3-2 last November. The selectors will hope the team under Kohli scales new heights in limited-overs cricket.
For Kohli, the England series is the last before he leads the team’s title defence in the ICC Champions Trophy.
As Kohli will also look to build his team for the 2019 World Cup, the selectors are set to reward the top performers of Ranji Trophy with a berth in the England series.
It is learnt that Rishabh Pant is a hot favourite after the Delhi youngster finished with 972 runs in 12 Ranji innings. He will, however, be picked as a batsman and not for his wicket-keeping abilities.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who were rested for the New Zealand ODI series, are set to return. There could be a toss-up between Amit Mishra, who picked a fifer to help India win the fifth and final ODI against New Zealand, and Jharkhand’s left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, who tops the wicket-takers chart in Ranji with 56 wickets in 10 matches.
Mohammad Shami’s injury has left the pace department depleted, and the selectors are looking to recall Ishant Sharma, who last played an ODI in Australia in January last.
While Rohit Sharma, Axar Patel and Jayant Yadav nursing injuries, Ajinkya Rahane, who suffered a finger injury, is believed to be fit. Hardik Pandya too has regained fitness after suffering a hairline fracture on the right shoulder before the third Test against England in Mohali.