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India vs West Indies: Umesh, Shami included for WI ODIs as India look for World Cup pace options

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested for the first two ODIs against West Indies. The first game will be played in Guwahati on October 21.

cricket Updated: Oct 11, 2018 19:27 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
India vs Windies,India vs West Indies,World Cup
File photo of Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur during a practice session.(PTI)

There are 18 more One-day Internationals for India before the 2019 World Cup in England and the team management is still looking to fill the third pacer’s slot, and probably a fourth pace option in the 50-over format.

Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the top two choices and both have been rested for the first two ODIs against West Indies. The first game will be played in Guwahati on October 21.

“Mohammed Shami has been included precisely for that reason. We are looking for a third pacer, and preferably a fourth in England,” chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said on Thursday after announcing the 14-member squad. The last time Shami played an ODI was in September 2017 against Australia.

“Of course Umesh Yadav is also part of our pool and as we are looking at a workload management strategy. We’ve decided to rotate our players so that we can avoid break downs,” Prasad said.

The boost from the Nidahas Cup heroics (in Sri Lanka) has run its course for Dinesh Karthik as Rishabh Pant was named in the squad. Prasad said the latter, who has impressed after his Test debut, will play as a batsman. “Only in case of an emergency, Pant will keep wicket,” he said. “We have given a few opportunities to Karthik.”

ALSO READ: Rishabh Pant included in 14-member India squad for first two ODIs against West Indies

The chief selector also said Virat Kohli, who was rested for the Asia Cup, will play the entire series.

The middle-order batting concern remains but Prasad said the team management “is very close to sorting out that problem.”

Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni will play for Hyderabad and Jharkhand respectively in the knockout phase of the Vijay Hazare Trophy beginning on October 14, he said.

India will have to wait for the return of Hardik Pandya, who suffered a lower back injury during the Asia Cup in the UAE and had to be stretchered out. “Hardik won’t be ready before the second week of November,” Prasad said.

Kedar Jadhav, who suffered a hamstring injury during the Asia Cup, has also been rested. Prasad said he would be considered for the remaining ODIs against West Indies.

Pacer Siddharth Kaul, who was called up as an injury replacement during the Asia Cup, was also left out.

Squad for first two ODIs: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul.

First Published: Oct 11, 2018 19:21 IST