India vs West Indies: Rishabh Pant the darkhorse as selectors pick squad for WI ODIs on Thursday
The Indian selectors will meet in Hyderabad on Thursday evening to pick the squad for the five-match ODI series against the West Indies, starting on 21st October in Guwahati. The five wise men — Prasad, Devang Gandhi, Sarandeep Singh, Jatin Paranjape and Gagan Khoda — might be tempted to give Test wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant a go as a batsman.
While MS Dhoni is set to play and don the gloves, Pant might just be brought in as a batsman and made to spend time with the national team as Dhoni’s understudy. If Pant does make the cut, Dinesh Karthik is likely to miss out. For the record, Karthik has not been able to make much of the opportunities given to him. While he flopped in the two Tests in England — before Pant was brought into the XI — he managed mediocre returns in the Asia Cup.
Another interesting factor could be the position of regular skipper Virat Kohli. While he was rested for the Asia Cup due to fatigue, the captain had a wrist injury that almost saw him miss the opening Test against the West Indies. If the skipper wishes to take time off and be a 100 per cent for the Australia series, it could well be the case of Rohit leading the team. But as per sources in the know of developments, the call will entirely be on Kohli himself.
While Kedar Jadhav is out of the series due to the hamstring inuury he suffered on the night of the Asia Cup final, Ambati Rayudu is set to retain his place in the team after a quality show in the Asian showpiece event. Even the duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to return to the squad after the fast bowlers were rested for the Test series against West Indies.