India vs Bangladesh: Rohit Sharma named T20I captain as Virat Kohli rested, Shivam Dube earns maiden call-up
Virat Kohli has been handed a much-needed break from international cricket and rested for the three-match Twenty20 series against Bangladesh, in November. Opening batsman Rohit Sharma will lead the team in his place. Kohli, however, will be back for the two-match Test series. Wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal made a return to the T20 squad and keeper-batsman Sanju Samson was rewarded for his impressive showings in domestic cricket, including the Indian Premier League, with a long-awaited call up. He played his first and only T20I back in 2015.
Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube got his maiden international call-up to fill in for the injured Hardik Pandya, who is recovering from back surgery, while Mumbai and Chennai Super Kings pacer Shardul Thakur is also part of the squad.
Kohli, who captains India in all three formats and is the top performer with the bat for the side, and a burnout is always a possibility for him. Right after the World Cup in England, there was talk that Kohli would skip the Twenty20 matches against West Indies, but he went ahead and played those matches. This time the team management and selectors, on the advice of the support staff monitoring the workload of the players, decided to give him a break.
In another major decision, experienced all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was not picked to make space for Krunal Pandya, who offers a similar set of skills. In the build-up to the 2020 T20 World Cup, India has been looking for depth in their lower-order; hence they have preferred bowlers who can also contribute with the bat, which has seen Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav not being played together.
“With regards to (Chahal), we wanted to try him out and that’s the reason we are giving him so many opportunities. At some point, both of them (Jadeja and Krunal) will play together and we will see how each of them progresses,” said chairman of selectors MSK Prasad.
The chief selector said in Shivam Dubey they have a player who bats aggressively. “Earlier we had Hardik Pandya, then we also tried Vijay Shankar. All of us agreed in unison that the role we have, Shivam Dubey fits in very well,” Prasad said. “He bats aggressively, his performances in the India A Series in West Indies and also against South Africa in the ODIS (for India A) was phenomenal. He has improved by leaps and bounds, a notch higher and we are convinced about him.”
Giving an update on some of the other big names missing, Prasad said express fast bowler Navdeep Saini was not available because of fitness reasons.
“That’s the reason we picked up Shardul Thakur,” Prasad said. “Coming to Bumrah and Bhuvi (Bhuvaneshwar Kumar), I think Bhuvi might come in the next series, he is taking some time. (Jasprit) Bumrah will take a little longer.” Bumrah and Kumar are both out with recurring injuries.
Rishabh Pant is the first-choice keeper-batsman and Sanju Samson has been picked as a top-order batsman who will also be a back-up for Pant.
“Samson was there in the Indian team 4-5 years ago, his problem was inconsistency,” Prasad said. “In the last one year, he has had a fantastic IPL followed by a good India A series against South Africa and then a wonderful Vijay Hazare as well. He is more consistent now and that is the reason we thought of drafting him in the squad.”
Prasad again made it clear that they will back Pant and are not looking back at Mahendra Singh Dhoni. “I have been very clear on this, that after World Cup we have started backing Pant. So we will still back him (Pant) and see that he progresses well.
“I made it very clear, post World Cup that we are moving on (from Dhoni).”
The selectors have retained the original Test squad from the South Africa series with one exception—Kuldeep Yadav has been preferred over Shahbaaz Nadeem, who made an impressive debut at Ranchi.
Before the selection meeting, the five selectors also met the new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, along with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
India T20I squad: Rohit Sharma(Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant(wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur.
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Saha (wk), R Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant
India is set to play three T20Is - In New Delhi (November 3), in Rajkot (November 7), and in Nagpur (November 10) and two Test matches - in Indore (November 14-18) and in Kolkata (November 22-26) against Bangladesh.
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