Rohit Sharma will return to lead India in the upcoming limited-overs series against West Indies after recovering from his hamstring injury, as the country’s cricket board named the squad on Wednesday. Rohit, who was recently appointed white-ball captain, missed the team’s tour of South Africa and KL Rahul stood in as captain in the three one-day matches which the tourists lost. India announced 18-man squads for three ODI and three T20I matches starting February 6, with the first 50-over game in Ahmedabad.
Vice-captain Rahul will join the team from the second ODI while fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested. Ravindra Jadeja will miss the series as he is undergoing the final stage of recovery from his knee injury, the BCCI said. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav returns to the ODI squad after last playing for the national team in July last year. Recently the BCCI revised the venues for the series, hosting the ODI games in Ahmedabad on February 6, 9 and 11. The T20 matches will be played in Kolkata on February 16, 18, and 20.
India is yet to name their new Test captain after Virat Kohli, who remains an integral part of the team across formats, stepped down from the job following the team’s 2-1 loss in South Africa. The ODIs will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on February 6, 9 and 11. These matches form part of the ICC ODI Super League and the West Indies will have the opportunity to win points to be one of the top seven teams, excluding hosts India, to gain automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. The T20Is will be played at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on February 16, 18 and 20, with the squad expected to be announced on Friday.
Kemar Roach, the experienced fast bowler; Nkrumah Bonner, the middle-order batsman, and Brandon King, the opening batman, have been recalled to the squad. Roach has so far played 92 ODIs with 124 wickets. Bonner made his ODI debut in Bangladesh a year ago and has so far played three matches, while King has so far played four matches in this format. Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi was on Wednesday rewarded with a maiden India call-up for the upcoming Twenty20 series against the West Indies while senior wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav also returned to the white ball set up after a knee surgery.
“Kuldeep Yadav is making a comeback and Ravi Bishnoi is the new face in the team for the West Indies series. The team will be led by Rohit Sharma,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity. It is learned that pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been retained in the ODI squad and dropped for T20s while former skipper Virat Kohli will feature in both squads. It is understood that Kuldeep, who had lost his mojo in the Kohli-Ravi Shastri era, has been called back as the current team management and selectors feel that he has the x-factor to contribute to the team’s cause.
He underwent knee surgery in September last year. Reports also say that Ravichandran Ashwin will miss out due to an injury while Rohit Sharma will return to lead the side for the three-match ODI as well as the T20I series. Rohit had to miss out on South Africa tour due to a left hamstring injury. It’s also learned that Jasprit Bumrah will likely be rested for the series. Rohit was named the ODI skipper ahead for the South Africa tour, but he had to miss out due to an injury. Meanwhile, KL Rahul led the side which led to India’s ultimate 0-3 loss in the Rainbow Nation. Now the baton passes to Rohit who successfully completed the mandatory fitness test at NCA, Bengaluru.