The return of Kul-Cha, Dhoni's future and more - Analysis of the Indian T20I & ODI squad for West Indies series
The ODIs will have little context attached to them but the focus will be on the T20Is, with pressure on players like Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who are making a comeback.
Sanju Samson and Shardul Thakur will consider themselves unfortunate after having been done away with without getting opportunities. On the other hand, the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav are making comebacks to the squad and would be raring to prove their mettle.
In this light, let's analyse the Indian T20I & ODI squad for West Indies series.
The return of Bhuvneshwar and Shami
Mohammed Shami last played an ODI for India in August this year against West Indies. He played in all the three matches of the series and picked up two wickets each in the last two matches. As for T20Is, Shami has not been a part of India's scheme of things and last played a T20 International way back in July 2017.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar featured in all the six limited-overs matches against West Indies in August including 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs. However, he suffered a niggle after that and has returned to fitness now.
In the meantime, Team India placed their bets on youngsters like Khaleel Ahmed but have not found the desired returns. The duo are back in both the T20I and the ODI squads with Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed making way for them.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's selection in particular was inevitable because of his death bowling skills. However, it is to be noted here that his returns with the new ball have declined. Mohammed Shami, on the other hand, has been excellent with the new ball and has translated his red ball form into the shorter formats but he will need to work on his death bowling skills if the pacer wants to retain his spot in the limited-overs format for a longer period.
Time to see Kul-cha back in action
The last time Indian fans saw Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the same team was against England in the World Cup in which both the spinners were taken to the cleaners. India changed their strategy promptly and the two sinners have never played together in an international game since.
Chahal made a comeback against Bangladesh in the T20Is and impressed with his guile. Kuldeep Yadav, in the meanwhile, picked up a shoulder injury but is now back. The Indian fans will be delighted to see Kul-Cha bowling in tandem yet again. It will be interesting to see if they can repeat their past heroics or have they really been 'found out'.
MS Dhoni still absent
MS Dhoni threw a googly by not announcing his retirement post the ODI World Cup. There is little clarity about his future but as per reports, he is still recovering from a few niggles and is not available for selection. Irrespective of that, Indian chief selector MSK Prasad has already spoken in the media about "moving ahead".
However, with Rishabh Pant not in the best of form, Dhoni is playing the waiting game and might come into the picture at the last minute if he performs well in IPL 2020. However, for the moment, the fans will have to wait for sometime to see him back in the India colours, if at all.
Ravindra Jadeja in for Krunal in T20Is
Ravindra Jadeja had lost his spot to Krunal Pandya in the T20I series against Bangladesh but has replaced the all-rounder in the T20 squad this time around. It is clear that only one of the two will make India's squad for the T20 World Cup and hence the management wants to give both ample opportunities to prove their worth.
Jadeja has come a long way as a batsman and adds value to the team in all the three departments. He has been named in the ODI squad as well.
Shivam Dube and Manish Pandey get into the ODIs as well
Shivam Dube was not rated very highly before the Bangladesh T20Is but his 3 wickets in the the last match that saw India win the series by 2-1 raised his stocks. Although still a work in progress, Dube has earned a spot in the ODIs as well and his bowling in particular will be tested. The all-rounder has made a name for himself for his big-hitting ability but the fans are yet to see that at the highest level.
Manish Pandey has flattered to deceive in the numerous opportunities he has got in international cricket but has been scoring truckloads of runs in domestic cricket. He impressed with his cameo in the last match against Bangladesh and has been given an opportunity in the ODIs as well. However, with Shreyas Iyer having cemented his spot in the middle order, it is unlikely that Pandey will get a game, at least in the ODIs.
T20I Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
ODI Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Risbhabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
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