Having battled England under seaming conditions and kept wickets too, Rahul Dravid could make a comeback to ODIs if Dhoni agrees; selectors to pick squad today
The fate of Rahul Dravid's ODI future lies solely in the hands of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the selection committee meets in Chennai today to pick the squad for the one-off T20 and the five-match ODI series against England to follow.
Left: Rahul Dravid (left) congratulates captain Dhoni after beating
Sri Lanka in the final one-dayer of the Tri-nation championship
trophy at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on September
14, 2009.India won by 46 runs. Pic/AFP
Dravid, who last played a one-dayer during the ICC Champions Trophy in September 2009, is yet to announce his retirement from the limited-overs format. And here's a feeling here that Dravid, who has been keeping wickets, opening the innings and handling swinging deliveries better than anyone else in the ongoing Test series, deserves a recall in the ODI side. More so, because of the seamer-friendly conditions that the World Champions will get in the five matches taking place between September 3 and 16. "We are going to need him in these conditions. The ball will swing in the ODI series too, we will need his experience," a well-placed source in the touring team said.
Incidentally, Dravid's previous recall (in September 2009) was also because the selectors wanted to cash in on his experience in difficult South African conditions. With 10,765 runs in 339 matches, Dravid is the seventh highest run-getter in ODI history.
The fallout guys from the ODI squad will naturally be upset since they have been in England since the third week of July, and have acclimatised to the difficult conditions.
"The selectors would pass the buck to captain Dhoni (on whether Dravid should be picked). If the captain takes the initiative, the selectors cannot say no to Dravid's inclusion," the source further added.
The selectors are undecided about retaining Yusuf Pathan, who hasn't scored a fifty since the tour of South Africa in January. The all-rounder scored only 30 runs in five ODIs in the West Indies. That was followed by a lacklustre performance in the World Cup, which saw him averaging just 15 in five games before Suresh Raina took his place. Pathan's inability to counter short-pitched deliveries is an added worry.
The likely squad: MS Dhoni (captain), Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Pragyan Ojha/ Amit Mishra, R Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar and Yusuf Pathan.