The Indian squad for the West Indies tour was announced and as expected, there was no MS Dhoni in the limited-overs leg. It was reported earlier that the former Indian captain had ruled himself out of selection as he wanted to take two months off the game. This was reiterated by chief selector MSK Prasad who said that the wicket-keeper batsman was not available for selection.
He also said that they have a roadmap in place and there will be more opportunities given to Rishabh Pant in order to groom him for the future.
"He's (Dhoni) unavailable for this series but we had certain roadmaps and plans till the World Cup. Subsequently, we've laid down few more plans and thought of giving as many opportunities to Rishabh Pant and to groom him. This is our plan right now," Prasad told reporters after announcing the squads.
Responding to queries about his retirement, Prasad said that calling it quits from the game was always a personal choice and for a legend like Dhoni, it should be left to him to take a call.
Transitioning from Dhoni to Pant
"Retirement is purely individual. A legendary cricketer like MS Dhoni, he knows when to retire," he said. "I don't think we need to discuss anything on it, because first of all he's not available. Second, we have already started grooming some youngsters."
Speaking about Pant, the chief selector categorically mentioned that the young man had done nothing wrong to not be selected and that he remains the primary wicket-keeper in all the three formats.
"Rishabh Pant has not done anything wrong for his non-inclusion. We know he's the only wicketkeeper to get a 100 in England and then in Australia. Pant will play in all formats, we have to manage his workload," Prasad said.
Prasad also said that they had discussed young Andhra keeper KS Bharat and that he was very close to getting selected, but then had to go as per the unwritten rule which favours the inclusion of a senior cricketer when he gets a comeback opportunity after being injured.
"We have taken India A performances into consideration. In the longer format, KS Bharat was very, very close to get selected. We have an unwritten norm when a senior cricketer is injured, he should get a comeback opportunity. That's what we have given to Saha," the chief selector informed.
Test squad: Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini
T20I squad Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini