After much speculations and deliberations, the Indian selectors picked the squad for the Australia series and in many ways, this could well be the closest they have got as far as India's plans for the World Cup are concerned.
Virat Kohli is back leading the side and the selectors have tried to manage the workload of the bowlers.
Here, we take a look at 3 big takeaways from the squad announcement:
End of the road for Dinesh Karthik?
Dinesh Karthik is in the T20I squad, but has been dropped from the ODI teams. For a man who was doing just fine as a finisher in the middle order, Karthik's World Cup ambitions have taken a big hit with this announcement. India is not playing any other ODI series after this particular one, and hence, the selectors have moved over Karthik as the secondary keeper too. However, chief selector MSK Prasad has said that he remains in contention.
Rishabh Pant is in the squads and could double up as the finisher and the second wicket-keeper behind MS Dhoni.
Emergence of Vijay Shankar
The young Tamil Nadu-all-rounder was drafted into the side after Hardik Pandya was suspended and in the limited opportunities he got, he looked the part as a capable batsman. His innings of 43 in seaming conditions in the 5th ODI in New Zealand has not gone unnoticed and this could be his chance to shore up his spot as the second all-round option after Hardik Pandya.
He could well take the place of Ravindra Jadeja in that World Cup squad.
Rest to Kuldeep, Bhuvneshwar
Workload management of the bowlers was a big talking point ahead of the selection. The Indian coach had already said that with the IPL coming up, it was important to manage the bowlers and the selectors have done their bit.
Kuldeep Yadav is not part of the T20I squad and has been replaced by young Punjab and Mumbai Indians leg-spinner Mayank Markande. Also, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will only feature in the final three ODI matches of the tour. Siddarth Kaul has replaced him for the T20I series and the first two One Day Internationals.
KL Rahul is back
He was dropped after being was suspended but he went back and found form. Now, KL Rahul is back again in the scheme of things. The selectors want to test him out before the World Cup and the onus is now on Rahul to get the ball rolling and grab this opportunity to nail his spot as the third opener for the World Cup.