A new era is set to start in India cricket with the upcoming ODI and T20 series against England. The Board of Control for Cricket in India's selection committee, which met in Mumbai, has announced the team for the series, and Virat Kohli, as expected, has replaced MS Dhoni, who recently resigned from the post of ODI and T20 captain.
With this, Test skipper Kohli, who took part in the selection meeting via Skype, will now captain India in all formats of the game. However, his first task will be to win the ODI and T20 series, and for that he has been given a strong team in both the formats by the selectors, who had to wait for some time for the meeting to start due to the confusion caused by the tussle between the BCCI and Lodha panel. The meeting began after the Lodha panel gave a go-ahead.
Yuvraj Singh has been brought back into the side for both the formats, while uncapped Rishabh Pant and experienced middle order player Suresh Raina have also been included in the T20 side. Since Rohit Sharma has still not recovered fully, India will have a different opening pair in the ODI series. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul could take up that role while Ajinkya Rahane can also bat at number one or two. Neither Rahane nor Shikhar is present in the T20 squad.
Interestingly, Ishant Sharma is not present in either squad for the upcoming series against England. Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav will share the workload in the pace department in the ODI series. Ashish Nehra will feature in the T20 team alongside Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar.
Though there were talks suggesting that the India key spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja would be rested, the duo has been selected for both the ODI and T20 series.
However, it was the inclusion of Yuvraj, which bagged headlines as the player last featured for India ODI team in 2013 against South Africa. Yuvraj's last game in the shorter format was during the World T20 in March 2016. Chief selector MSK Prasad said that it was Yuvraj's performance in the domestic cricket, which helped him get into the Indian team.
Both the teams seem strong sides, which can help Kohli's men dominate proceedings.
The selectors were involved in some long discussions as the meeting went for more than an hour, since they were also picking two India A teams, who will play two practice matches against England. Dhoni will lead India A in the first match while Ajinkya Rahane will captain in the second warm-up game.
India and England will play three ODIs and T20 against England, with the first ODI set to be played in Pune on January 15.
India squad for three ODIs: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav
India squad for three T20s: KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Virat Kohli (capt), MS Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra
India A squad for 1st warm-up match: Shikhar Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (c, wk), Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Siddharth Kaul.
India A squad for 2nd warm-up match: Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Suresh Raina, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan, Sheldon Jackson, Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Parvez Rasool, Vijay Kumar (wk), Pradeep Sangwan, Ashoke Dinda.