Mahendra Singh Dhoni dropped from India’s T20I squads for West Indies, Australia series; Rohit Sharma to lead in place of rested Virat Kohli
Former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been overlooked by the Indian selectors for the three-match T20I series against the West Indies and Australia, later this year.
Wicket-keeper batsmen Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik have been included in the squad for both these series. But that this isn’t the end of the veteran’s career in the shortest format was clarified by the chairman of selectors MSK Prasad.
“Dhoni’s not going to play the 6 T20Is because we’re looking at the second keeper slot,” said Dhoni.
“That will be between Rishabh and Dinesh Karthik. So they will be getting a chance to keep and bat. It is not the end of Dhoni in T20Is,” he added further.
Dhoni’s poor form in recent times might have led the selectors make a decision like this as they seek to explore the other options available for the spot. Without Dhoni, Pant and Karthik would have a tough competition among themselves and with the next World T20 not far away, it would be interesting to see how things pan out.
Pant has had a terrific IPL the last term for the Delhi Daredevils and Karthik too has impressed, after being handed the leadership duties for Kolkata Knight Riders. His last-ball six to help India win the Nidahas Trophy is still a fresh memory.
Dhoni too had a good IPL season with the returning Chennai Super Kings wherein he led his side to their third IPL title. The 2011 World Cup winning skipper racked up 455 runs in the 16 matches he played, striking the ball at a healthy rate of 150.66.
Meanwhile, Virat Kohli, who is having a memorable ODI series against the West Indies so far, has been rested for the T20I competitions against the Caribbeans, keeping in mind the workload that he shoulders. He would return to the side in the tour of Australia which kicks off on November 21.
In his place, Rohit Sharma would lead the team. Sharma, while fulfilling the duties of a stand-in captain had earlier guided India to the Asia Cup title last month. The likes of Krunal Pandya and Washington Sundar have earned call-ups to the T20I squads for both the series.
T20I squad for West Indies series:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.
T20I squad for Australia series:
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed.