Punjab all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann, who has impressed with his all-round prowess in the three-match ODI series between India A and Bangladesh A, which ended on Sunday, has been rewarded with his maiden call-up to the Indian ODI squad. Gurkeerat has been chosen by the selectors for the first three matches of the ODI series against South Africa, which will be played in India next month. Another player who part of the India A squad against Bangladesh A, Sreenath Aravind, has been chosen in the T20 squad to take on the Proteas.
The 25-year-old Gurkeerat has been in excellent form for India A in recent times. In the tri-series final against Australia A, which was played in August, he scored 87 not out to go with his two wickets. This was the most significant contribution as India A went on to win the final. Then, in the first match of the series against Bangladesh A, he scored 65 to pull the team out of deep trouble, and then claimed 5 for 29, as the hosts eased to victory over their opponents. He played a reasonable knock in the second match as well even as Bangladesh A were victorious on that occasion.
The players who find themselves out of favour from the squad that toured Bangladesh for the disastrous one-day series are Ravindra Jadeja, who seems to have run out of favour with selectors and Dhawal Kulkarni. While Gurkeerat is a direct swap for Jadeja as the all-rounder’s choice, the selectors have decided to bring in spin to replace Kulkarni’s pace. Veteran Amit Mishra, who made a memorable Test comeback in Sri Lanka, finds himself back in favour in the ODIs as well. Mishra has also made it to the T20 squad.
There was talk about whether Mohammad Shami would made a comeback to international cricket after being selected among the 30 for the preparatory camp. But, he remains side-lined due to injury. He hasn’t played any international match since the World Cup. Interestingly, while Umesh Yadav finds a place in the 50-over squad, he has not been included for the T20s. Varun Aaron doesn’t find a place in either squad after a poor Sri Lanka series, but Harbhajan Singh has managed to retain his T20 place. MS Dhoni remains captain in both formats, putting a temporary end to speculations pertaining to the same.
Teams for South Africa series
ODI squad: MS Dhoni (c), R Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh, Amit Mishra
T20I squad: MS Dhoni (c), R Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma, S Aravind, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra
--By A Cricket Correspondent