Rohit Sharma has recovered from his hamstring injury and will return to captain India for the first time as the team’s full-time captain for the three ODIs and as many T20Is against West Indies starting February 6. Virat Kohli has opted not to rest, which means this is the first time that he will play under Rohit as the BCCI announced the two squads to take on the Windies beginning early next month.
There is no place for Ravichandran Ashwin in either squad as the off-spinner is reportedly undergoing treatment for an injury and it may take up to 45 days for him to recover completely. In Ashwin’s absence, young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi has earned his maiden international call-up and sealed a place in both squads.
Partnering him in ODIs in the spin department is a returning Kuldeep Yadav, who underwent surgery back in September. Along with Bishnoi and Kuldeep, Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar will be the four spinners across both formats for India. Deepak Hooda too has impressed the selectors with the Baroda all-rounder finding a place in the 50-overs squad.
The upcoming ODI series will be a chance for Kuldeep to redeem himself after falling out of favour. He last represented India in white-ball cricket in the Sri Lanka tour in July 2021. He played two matches, returning with combined figures of 2/103 in 19 overs. Moreover, he was also made to sit out throughout IPL 2021 by the Kolkata Knight Riders management.
Meanwhile, Bishnoi he has been included in the squad on the basis of his IPL performances. Since making his debut in 2020, the right-arm spinner has gone on to pick a total of 24 wickets. In addition, he has been impressive in the field, taking tough catches, and that is bound to work in his favour as well. He was recently picked up by the Lucknow Super Giants – who will play their maiden IPL – as one of three drafts picks for ₹4 crore.
India’s two premier pacers in Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested, while the under-fire Bhuvneshwar Kumar has retained his place in the T20I squad. The BCCI also informed that left-arm spinner Axar Patel has returned to the T20I fold, while Ravindra Jadeja is yet to be available for selection. The release also stated that KL Rahul will be available from the second ODI onward.
“Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami have been rested from the series. KL Rahul will be available from 2nd ODI onwards. Ravindra Jadeja is undergoing his final stage of recovery post his knee injury and will not be available for the ODIs and T20Is. Axar Patel will be available for the T20Is,” read a statement on BCCI’s Twitter handle.
Venkatesh Iyer and Ishan Kishan, who were part of India’s ODI squad in South Africa, have been dropped from the 50-over format but have found a place in the T20Is. Harshal Patel, who played against Sri Lanka in July last year has been drafted back in the T20I squad, while Avesh Khan, who was part of the T20I squad against New Zealand but did not play a game, has been retained.
Rishi Dhawan of Himachal and Tamil Nadu’s Shahrukh Khan were the two names were floating on the basis of their impressive show in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, but neither could make any of the sides.
ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper), Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan
T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (Wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel