Indian selectors have confirmed that captain Virat Kohli will be rested and will not play both the ODI and T20 series against Sri Lanka. That means Rohit Sharma who was appointed the ODI captain will also captain the side during the T20 series.
The selectors decided to make a number of changes to the regular T20 side and rested senior players, keeping in mind that the team will travel to South Africa for a grueling tour. The seniors rested include Virat Kohli, S Dhawan, B Kumar, R Ashwin and R Jadeja. The spin twins did not play the last T20 series as well as the selectors preferred to go with Y Chahal and K Yadav.
New Faces Part Of T20 Squad
The selectors could have given the likes of Y Singh and S Raina an opportunity to prove themselves against Sri Lanka but decided to go with new blood. They have selected Washington Sundar who is an all-rounder from Tamil Nadu, Basil Thampi who bowls pace for Kerala and hard hitting Baroda batsman Deepak Hooda.
In a statement, MSK Prasad, chairman of selectors said. “With regard to the youngsters, someone like Basil Thampi, Siraj, Hooda, Shreyas Iyer – all these players have been doing really well in domestic cricket. After doing well in domestic cricket we have given them opportunities in India A tours to South Africa and against New Zealand here [at home]. Considering all those performances and taking performances of the top-class IPL we have considered these names.”
The T20 squad will also see KL Rahul and Jaydev Unadkat make their return to the squad. This is another good opportunity for KL Rahul to establish his place in the side with a string of consistent performances. Unadkat and M Siraj could battle it out to find a place in the starting line-up.
Door Closed On Veterans
Yuvraj Singh recently announced that he plans to play cricket till 2019 and remains hopeful that he can still represent India. However, it appears that the selectors have decided that Y Singh and S Raina have had their fair share of chances and it is now time for them to experiment with new blood.
MS Dhoni will once again be under pressure in both the ODI and T20 series as his strike rate and finishing ability will be under the spotlight. Should he fail in both the ODI and T20 series, the selectors could take another look at his place in the side or 2018.