Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav have been picked for India’s limited-overs tour of West Indies, which comprises five ODIs and a T20 international soon after the Champions Trophy ends in England. Opener Rohit Sharma and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah are the only members from the Champions Trophy squad who won’t be making the trip to the Caribbean.
When India announced the squad for the Champions Trophy, the selectors had said they had discussed both Pant and Kuldeep, but went with experience for the big tournament. The two were part of the five players kept on standby should there be need for an injury replacement. The chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, had called them players for the future.
Pant has had the cricket community excited with his aggressive batting, which included a 326-ball 308 in the Ranji Trophy last season. Kuldeep made his Test debut in the same season, and took crucial wickets on day one of the Dharamsala Test and helped India win the series against Australia.
There was no announcement about who was going to coach India in the series. The incumbent Anil Kumble’s contract ends with the Champions Trophy and India have advertised for a new coach, as opposed to extending Kumble’s tenure without further interviews. It had emerged that Virat Kohli and a few senior players were not happy with Kumble, which has necessitated the process.
Kumble has also applied for the job. It is possible – provided Kumble agrees – that he will get an extension for the West Indies series while the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the BCCI, which comprises Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, decides on the next coach.
Squad Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Dinesh Karthik