Virat Kohli returned to the T20I side for the upcoming three-match T20I series against West Indies as the MSK Prasad-led selection panel named the squad in Kolkata. Kohli was rested for the Bangladesh T20Is but he did return for the Test series – the second Test will be played from Saturday. He will take over the captaincy from Rohit Sharma, who led the team for the Bangladesh T20Is.
Sanju Samson was dropped from the squad as the selectors retained Rishabh Pant. The former did not get a chance in any of the three T20Is against Bangladesh.
Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Krunal Pandya and Shardul Thakur were other players to be dropped from the squad. Chahar has just played one T20I so far, against West Indies in August, and did not get a chance in any of the T20Is at home against South Africa and Bangladesh. Khaleel was in line to be dropped after going for 108 runs at 9.00 in the series.
Krunal’s form has dipped down as he failed to get a wicket in the previous four T20Is and was also dropped from the playing XI for the final T20I against Bangladesh while Thakur has been dropped without getting a chance.
The selectors have recalled Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami. Kuldeep was a regular part of the team but selectors dropped him and Yuzvendra Chahal from the T20I squad following the World Cup. Chahal returned for Bangladesh T20Is while Kuldeep’s return now will see them again form the spin pair in the shortest format.
Shami has been out of the shortest format for two years, having last played a T20I against West Indies back in 2017. His return to the shortest format indicates that selectors are looking at him at a prospect for next year’s T20 World Cup. Jadeja was not included for Bangladesh T20Is – he was probably rested for the series.
The three matches of the series will be played on December 6, 8 and 11 in Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram and Hyderabad.
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami