Mohammed Shami and Pawan Negi made it to the the Asia Cup and World T20 squads but Manish Pandey and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were left out as the BCCI's selection panel headed by Sandeep Patil announced the squads on Friday in Delhi. Other than that there were no major surprises as Mahendra Singh Dhoni had hinted after the Australia T20 series.
The selectors clearly thought better than going against the wishes of Team India skipper.
Mohammad Shami, who missed out on the tour of Australia due to a hamstring injury made the cut while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has had a torrid time of late in limited-over internationals, was ignored.
"Shami has 30 days before the World T20. We have good time in hand to take a call on Shami. He has been one of our best bowlers. For now, I can only say that he has recovered and started bowling," Sandip Patil said.
Delhi all-rounder Pawan Negi, who was a surprise inclusion for the Sri Lanka series, also made it to the squad.
The selectors also named the Women's squad for the World T20, which will be happening parallel to the men's event. Mithali Raj has been named the captain of the squad which is unchanged from the side which won the historic three-match series Down Under against reigning World Champions Australia.
For Dhoni'a side, as expected, there was a toss up between Manish Pandey and Ajinkya Rahane.
Pandey missed out on the T20Is in Australia despite a match-winning century in the final one-dayer because both squads were announced before the ODI series. His heroic performance came against Australia in the final ODI.
With Virat Kohli rested, Pandey, though, was included for the Sri Lanka T20 series that also included Ajinkya Rahane despite the fact that Rahane didn't make it to the starting XI for the three T20Is against Australia.
With Kohli returning to the squad, one batsman had to make way and Pandey turned out to be the unlucky one.
"Manish Pandey performed exceptionally well in Australia, his name was also discussed," Patil said.
"When selectors pick a team, we always give importance to domestic performance. It is not that we are only looking at seniors, we have looked at the performance, fitness and record of the domestic players as well. We have taken into account all the performances of not just 15-16 guys but all the domestic players and then picked these 15," he added.
Yuvraj's last-over heroics in the third T20 against Australia have ensured his place in the team. Also, the 15 wickets he took during the 2011 World Cup with his slow-left arm spin will also be taken into account.
Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya — who didn't get a chance to bat in the Australia series and impressed in bits with the ball, retained his place in the squad.
Dhoni had said after the end of the Australia T20 series that the core of team is more or less set and that there could only be minor changes in the squad of 15.
India start off their Asia Cup campaign, against Bangladesh in Fatullah on 26 February and World T20 against New Zealand in Nagpur on 15 March.
"This is the best combination of 15 we can think of," Chairman of the committee, Sandeep Patil, said in a press conference after the meeting. Patil expressed his faith in Dhoni's leadership despite the recent mixed run.
"We have no right to tell people when to retire, we have total faith in Dhoni's captaincy. He is the right person to lead in Asia Cup and World T20," Patil said.
Senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been retained in the side despite not getting a single T20 in the series against Australia.
"Harbhajan has been a part of this team. The selectors, the team management and the captain have faith in Harbhajan, his record and the contribution he has made to the team," Patil explained.
Asia Cup and World T20 squad: MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Shami.
The India Men’s team will play the Asia Cup in Bangladesh from Feb 24-06 March followed by the ICC World T20 to be held in India from the 8th March to 3rd April. Both the men’s and the women’s team will play in the ICC World T20.
Indian Team for the ICC World T20 and Asia Cup (Men): MS Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Shami, Pawan Negi.
Indian Team for ICC World T20 (Women) : Mithali Raj (Captain), Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Veda Krishnamurthy, Harmanpreet Kaur, Shikha Pandey, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sushma Verma, Poonam Yadav, VR Vanitha, Anuja Patil, Ekta Bisht, Thirushkamini MD, Deepti Sharma, Niranjana Nagarajan.
With PTI inputs