Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: In what could be the final team for the 2019 ODI World Cup, MS Dhoni held on to his position in India’s ODI side and also returned to India’s T20I fold as BCCI announced squads for the Australia and New Zealand series on Monday.
Dhoni, who was ignored for both the T20I series against West Indies and Australia, has been included for the T20I series and against New Zealand, while the second wicket-keeper’s slot has gone to Dinesh Karthik in both the ODI squads – for Australia and New Zealand series.
Rishabh Pant has been named in the T20 squad for New Zealand but found no place in the ODI squads for the Australia and New Zealand series. Pant, currently busy with the Test series in Australia, will return home after the Tests to play for India A in a five-match one-day series against England Lions.
Justifying the 37-year-old Dhoni’s selection, a BCCI official, on conditions of anonymity, told PTI, “Since there are only eight ODIs (three against Australia and five against New Zealand), selectors want to give MS as much game time as possible (before the World Cup). Three T20Is means 11 international matches through the next one month.”
A fit-again Kedar Jadhav too made a comeback into the ODI side along with Hardik Pandya. Both the all-rounders were sidelined after suffering injuries in the Asia Cup in September.
Middle-order batsman Manish Pandey was ignored for both the sides as KL Rahul held on to his place. In the fast bowler’s department, left-armer Khaleel Ahmed was preferred over Umesh Yadav, in clear indication that the Vidarbha pacer may miss the bus for the World Cup.
India are currently engaged in a Test series against Australia and will play three ODIs against them starting January 12 in Sydney.
This will be followed by a limited-overs engagement with New Zealand, starting with five ODIs from January 23. The three T20 Internationals against Kiwis are lined up from February 6.
India’s squad for ODI series against Australia and New Zealand: Virat (Capt), Rohit (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar, Rayudu, DK, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami
India’s squad for T20I series against New Zealand: Virat(Capt), Rohit (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed