Rohit Sharma to lead India in WI T20Is
India captain Virat Kohli was rested for the three-match T20I series against West Indies and Rohit Sharma will lead the men-in-blues in his absence, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Friday.
Besides Kohli, former India captain and wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni was also excluded from the 16-man squad for the Windies T20Is.
Bihar-born spinner Shahbaz Nadeem made it to the squad, besides spin sensations Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
Currently leading the five-match ODI series 1-0, India have clinched the two-match Test series against West Indies 2-0. The three-match T20I rubber will start on November 4 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
The BCCI also announced the inclusion of all-rounder Kedar Jadhav for the fourth and fifth ODI against Windies.
The committee said that Dhoni, the 2007 World T20-winning skipper, has been "rested" and India are now looking to fill in the second wicketkeeper's slot.
But when asked if Dhoni's career in T20s is over, Prasad said, "Not yet".
"We want to try out other keepers for the second keeper's slot," said Prasad. The two keepers in the two T20 squads announced are Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. The three T20s against Australia will get underway from November 21, followed by a four-Test series and three ODIs.
With Dhoni playing only seven T20Is this year and India's next ODI assignment only in January against Australia, the former captain won't be getting any domestic matches with both Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy already over.
The 37-year-old, despite being a sharp planner and a safe and agile hand behind the stumps, has been struggling to finish matches with the bat, something that came naturally to him at his peak and made him a modern legend.
The decision to "rest" Dhoni might just be the first sign of selectors trying to phase out the maverick former captain in at least one format. A veteran of 93 T20Is, Dhoni has 1487 runs in the format at a strike rate of 127.09.
The only T20Is left in the next six months is a three-game series against New Zealand, which is scheduled in February.
India squad for Windies T20Is: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem