The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced the 15-man Indian squad for ICC Champions Trophy to be played next month.
Rohit Sharma returns after an injury lay-off while both Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane have been retained in spite of the inconsistent form in the format. Manish Pandey has earned a recall considering his impressive recent run. Veteran Suresh Raina continues to remain out of favour.
While Mohammed Shami was named in the squad, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Shardul Thakur have been chosen as standby.
Chief Selector MSK Prasad, speaking on the selection, said, “We discussed the names of Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Shardul Thakur. Each of them is on our standby list for the Champions Trophy. We are looking at sorting visas for them, and they will train at the NCA.”
Kuldeep Yadav missed out narrowly. “We definitely considered the name of Kuldeep. He would have been a surprise package but whether we would have played with two spinners is a question. Since Yuvraj and Kedar can bowl spin, he narrowly missed out but has a big role to play for India in the future,” Prasad said.
“Rishabh Pant was also discussed, and he is a very fine player. It’s not like we don’t have youngsters in the team – we have Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, who we’ve been grooming. We are extremely pleased with Rishabh Pant and will groom him to,” Prasad went on to add.
Team India Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
StandBy players: Suresh Raina, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Shardul Thakur.
--By A Cricket Correspondent