Rishabh Pant to be selected as Dhoni’s back-up; Kohli unlikely to rest in Windies ODIs


Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: Rishabh Pant is all set to break into the ODI team as the selectors have finally decided to turn the heat on MS Dhoni following his string of low scores with the bat when they sit to choose the 15-man squad for the five-match India vs West Indies ODI series starting on October 21.

MS Dhoni is all set to be the first choice wicketkeeper for the next year’s world cup but who is going to be his back up in the biggest show of cricket next year? The search will start from this series with the team management and selection committee wanting to try out Rishabh performs in the West Indies series.

It is still not clear whether the squad will be announced for the first three games or the entire series, which comprises five ODIs and three T20 Internationals.

Pant’s maiden Test ton in Oval and a free-flowing 92 against the West Indies in Rajkot were enough to force the selectors to think about him. The Delhi stumper is yet to play an ODI although he has played 4 T20Is and 4 Test matches. He had earned his maiden call-up back in 2017 for the West Indies tour but he did not get a game.

Pant’s inclusion could well mean another setback for Dinesh Karthik. While sources revealed that Dhoni is certain to be the first-choice keeper for the World Cup, Karthik was deemed as a backup option and a middle-order bat in the last couple of series. However, the experienced Tamil Nadu cricketer failed to grab the opportunity. He got starts in almost every game in the Asia Cup but could not carry on.

It is unlikely that India will keep three specialist wicket-keepers with KL Rahul already there in the mix who can also do a decent job with the gloves.

There were discussions on captain Virat Kohli a breather but it is unlikely that he will sit out after making himself unavailable for the Aisa Cup.

As far as the bowling is concerned, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are set to comeback into the side.

Meanwhile, the Committee of Administrators’ meeting with the coach, captain and few senior players could see some controversy and fireworks.

At the post Asia Cup victory press conference in Dubai, Rohit Sharma had said that he doesn’t want to see any insecurities among the cricketers. According to many, it was an indirect dig towards the selection committee and Virat Kohli who dropped him from the Test squad.

As Murali Vijay and Karun Nair had also said they were not informed before being dropped from the team, it is clear that all is not well in the team.

With Australia and New Zealand series forthcoming and the bigger challenge of the World Cup in mind, the CoA will try to resolve the differences within the cricketers.


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