Dhoni back in T20 squad for NZ, Pant dropped from ODIs

Updated: Dec 25, 2018, 12:21 IST | PTI | New Delhi

The convenor of selection committee, Amitabh Chaudhary, refused to comment on the matter but a source privy to the development justified the 37-year-old Dhoni's selection

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was yesterday brought back to India's T20 squad to ensure he gets "enough game-time" before the ODI World Cup but the young Rishabh Pant was axed from the 50-over side for the upcoming series against Australia and New Zealand.

While Dhoni's inclusion in the shortest format came as a surprise after he was dropped for the Australia leg just last month, Pant's omission is an indication that he is currently not in the team management's 2019 World Cup radar as a first XI player.

The convenor of selection committee, Amitabh Chaudhary, refused to comment on the matter but a source privy to the development justified the 37-year-old Dhoni's selection. "Since there are only eight ODIs (three against Australia and five against New Zealand), selectors want to give MS as much game time as possible (before the World Cup). Three T20Is means 11 international matches through the next one month," a BCCI official told PTI.

Pant, on the other hand, will come back to play five ODIs against England Lions in India from January 23. The 16-member squad for the twin ODI series against Australia (starting January 12) and New Zealand (starting January 23) is pretty much the core team for the World Cup in England that starts May 30. The three T20 Internationals against the Kiwis are lined up from February 6. The selection committee's decision to bring back Dhoni is set to raise a few eyebrows as the logic given before was that he was not going to be in the scheme of things for the T20 World Cup in 2020.

ODI squad: Kohli (c), Rohit (vc), Rahul, Dhawan, Rayudu, Karthik, Jadhav, Dhoni (wk), H Pandya, Kuldeep, Chahal, Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Khaleel, Shami.
T20I squad: Kohli (c), Rohit (vc), Rahul, Dhawan, Pant, Karthik, Jadhav, Dhoni (wk), H Pandya, K Pandya, Kuldeep, Chahal, Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah, Khaleel.

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