Rohit Sharma will lead India in the upcoming Asia Cup in UAE as Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, and Manish Pandey also marked their return to the squad for the five-nation event, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Saturday.
Regular skipper Virat Kohli, currently leading the team in England, has been rested. The Indian team will end their long English sojourn on 11 September. Asia Cup begins on 15 September in Dubai. India will open their campaign on 18 September.
Manish Pandey, who was not part of the 50-over team that played in England, has been rewarded for his stellar show in the Quadrangular series, where besides leading India ‘B’ to a title, he scored 306 runs without being dismissed once.
Pandey’s Karnataka statemate Mayank Agarwal, who had a breakout 2017-18 domestic season, was once again ignored despite racking up 236 runs at an average of 59 along with a century and a half-century.
However, Prasad assured that his chance will come sooner than later.
"Mayank Agarwal has been fantastic and has been consistent in the last 10-12 months. He is just a step away and I am sure in due course of time he will get his recognition," he said.
"And he did well In all three formats in whatever opportunities he has got in domestic cricket. We will definitely look at it when we rest some of the senior players," Prasad assured.
Kedar Jadhav, who underwent a hamstring surgery in June for an injury he sustained in Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) season opener on 7 April, also returns to the team. Together with Pandey, Jadhav will be expected to shore up the middle order, especially in the absence of Kohli. Jadhav played last of his 40 ODIs in February in Cape Town.
Rajasthan’s 20-year-old left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed got his maiden call-up to the national side. Ahmed played the Quadrangular series for India ‘A’, and was part of the ‘A’ team that toured England in June-July.
Khaleel has played 17 List A matches, taking 28 wickets at an economy rate of 4.74. He is nippy with an ability to hustle the batsmen and Rahul Dravid has been mentoring him since the 2016 U-19 World Cup. He was with India A during the tour of England recently.
The selectors are desperate for some variety and after experiments with Jaydev Unadkat and Barinder Sran didn't yield the desired results, they are now trying out Khaleel.
"Yes there are 2-3 slots that we are yet to finalise. One is a left handed seamer's slot where we are looking at Khaleel.
"So for those spots we will be trying and we will look at these 24 matchens. As we move closer towards World Cup, you guys will come to know."
Another significant, though unsurprising, addition to the team is Jasprit Bumrah. The fast bowler injured his thumb during the T20I series in UK and missed the following ODI series and first two Tests.
Considering the workload we have given Virat Kohli rest. He has been playing continuously for quite some time. We need to preserve some of our precious players who are playing all 3 formats, looking at that workload we have started with Virat &he will be rested for Asia Cup: BCCI pic.twitter.com/gHYZ7Kyfck
— ANI (@ANI) September 1, 2018
There are two, three slots we are yet to see before we fix the final team for the World Cup and one of the slots is a seamer slot which is available. We are looking at a left-hander option in Khaleel Ahmed: MSK Prasad, BCCI Chief selector pic.twitter.com/w1hAtSkln3 — ANI (@ANI) September 1, 2018
OUT: Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav, Sreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina
IN: Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Khaleel Ahmed, Ambati Rayudu, Jasprit Bumrah
India's squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan (Vice Captain) , KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed
With PTI inputs