Former captain and wicket-keeper MS Dhoni has been left out from the T20I squad for the upcoming three-match series against West Windies and Australia. The national selection committee announced the team on 26th October 2018.
Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik have been picked as the specialist keepers for the two series. However, M S K Prasad, chairman of selectors insisted that Dhoni's exclusion doesn’t mean curtains on the ex-captain's career in T20 Internationals.
The chairman of selectors, M S K Prasad further clarified that Dhoni will not be playing the 6 T20Is because they're looking at the second keeper slot. Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik will get a chance to keep and bat during the series. It is not the end of Dhoni's career in T20Is.”
With the World T20 still a couple of years away, Dhoni’s recent form in T20s has been a topic of concern and many discussions. And with this decision it is clear that the selectors are looking ahead at options beyond the 37-year old ex-captain. Rishab was a star performer for his team in the last IPL and has been in excellent form of late while Karthik too has performed well in the opportunities he has been provided in the shortest format of the game. Who can forget Karthik's last-ball six that won India the Nidahas Trophy earlier this year.
However, Dhoni played a stellar role for his home team, Chennai Super Kings. He played a starring role scoring 455 runs at a strike rate of 150.66 in the 16 matches he played. He led from the front and silenced all his detractors. He ultimately led his team to victory.
Virat Kohli on the other hand, was rested for the three-match T20 series against Windies but he will be back for the T20 series against Australia, starting on November 21 at the Gabba in Brisbane.
In Kohli's absence, Rohit Sharma will lead the side and Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik will keep wickets for India against the West Indies. Pant is also the designated wicket-keeper for the series against Australia. Dinesh Karthik is also there in the squad.
Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and Khaleel Ahmed also earned their maiden call-up in the T20 squad while Shreyas Iyer and Washington Sundar returned to the squad as well.
The 16-man squad has an interesting mix of many young and talented players who have been in the selectors' radar. Washington Sundar, who had to return from England earlier this year due to an injury has been included in the squad. The T20 squad also includes the likes of Krunal Pandya and Shreyas Iyer. Khaleel Ahmed and Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem also earned their maiden call-up in the T20 squad.
Interestingly, Kedar Jadhav has also been added to the ODI squad for the final two games against the Windies.
Team for three-match T20I series against Windies:
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.
Team for three-match T20I series against Australia:
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed.