Chief selector drops hint that all-rounder’s recall had skipper Dhoni's backing
New Delhi: Veterans Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra were handed fresh lifelines with a recall in India's Twenty20 squad while Punjab left-arm seamer Brainder Sran and Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya were the new faces in the squads for upcoming tour to Australia early next year.
Also read: Yuvraj, Nehra make comebacks in India squad for Australia tour
Lanky paceman Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami were brought back into the ODI team which had no place for Suresh Raina, who was overlooked to test new players. Shami, who has now recovered from his injury, has been named in both the ODI and T20 squads, announced by BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur after a meeting of the selection committee here on Saturday.
Rishi Dhawan and Manish Pandey were also included in the one-day squad. There were a number of players like Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh, who were omitted from the ODI squad.
Off-spinner Harbhajan however kept his place in the T20 squad. The 23-year-old Sran and 22-year-old Pandya were rewarded with a berth in the ODI and T20 squads respectively for their consistent performance in domestic circuit.
Yuvraj Singh. Pic/AFP
The squad, to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has expectedly been packed with seamers, keeping in mind the conditions in Australia where India will play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals from January 12 to 31.
The selectors preferred to give another opportunity to Yuvraj and Nehra, both of who had represented with distinction in the past. "Keeping in mind World T20 lot of players this was chance to pick for World T20 and use it as a platform. Those not selected were all discussed. We have extended the pool," chief selector Sandeep Patil told reporters after the meeting.
Speaking about Yuvraj and Nehra's comeback, Patil said, "Yuvi is special and captain is happy to have him back. We can't guarantee him place but chance to perform will be given. Nehra is a consistent performer in the T20 format. He will be useful in the team. We will need experienced players in the T20 World Cup. The Australia tour is the perfect chance to give them a shot."
Soon after retaining Dhoni as India captain till the World T20, Patil said that the Board wanted to end speculation and "send a signal" to players as to who would be their leader in the mega-event from March 8 to April 3. "We named Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the captain as we wanted to end speculation in the media. Not only media but players in general should know who will be their leader."
Giving the impression that Dhoni is still the man in charge of the limited overs team, Patil said the "decision to pick the teams were taken in consultation with the captain and we support that".
Asked about Dhoni's future, Thakur said, "BCCI doesn't discuss players' future. Selectors do that with players. He is the most successful Indian captain. He has won two World Cups for India, taken India to No 1 Test rankings.It is only fair that we name him captain till World T20."