India vs West Indies: Rishabh Pant included in 12-man shortlist for 1st match; in line for ODI debut
Dashing wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant may make his ODI debut for India after he was included in the 12-member team announced by BCCI for the first ODI against West Indies. The 21-year-old has set eyes straight with his impressive performance in the two-Test series against the Caribbean nation, where he averaged 92 in two innings.
Pant smashed a total of 184 in two innings against the West Indies. He scored 92 in each of the innings having already registered his maiden Test century in the fifth and final Test against England at the Oval.
But the left-hander despite his batting credentials is yet to prove his skills with the gloves in his hand and has already conceded 100 byes in his short Test career of five matches, becoming, unfortunately, the fastest wicketkeeper to reach the landmark in such a short time.
Announcement: #TeamIndia announce the 12 for the 1st ODI in Guwahati against West Indies #INDvWI pic.twitter.com/j32SXgSFTT
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 20, 2018
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Hence, it was suggested by a member of the selection committee that Pant may be tried as a specialist batsman to solve India’s middle-order woes, while veteran MS Dhoni continue keeping the wicket. Pant is, however, viewed as a long-term replacement for the former Indian captain.
Virat Kohli after his break from the Asia Cup will return as the regular skipper while Rohit Sharma will continue as his deputy. India has named a strong 12-man squad for the first ODI in Guwahati with surprise inclusions being Umesh Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed, apart from Pant.
Yadav also returns to the Indian squad after being left of the Asia Cup. He last played for India during the England limited-overs series. The right-arm fast bowler was initially not included in the original squad but made the cut after Shardul Thakur injured himself only 10 balls into his Test debut. Thakur was later informed to have caught a right adductor tendon injury and was ruled out of the ODI series.
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Khaleel Ahmed also continued his rise as a potential third fast bowler for India after impressing in the victorious Asia Cup tournament. Mohammed Shami has been named as the other seamer in the squad.
Meanwhile, Ravindra Jadeja along with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal has been included as the three spinners in the 12-man shortlist.
The 12-man shortlist for the 1st ODI:
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Khaleel Ahmed.
India plays West Indies on October 21 in the first ODI at Guwahati, Assam.
Image Source: NDTV Sports