Mohammed Shami included for ODIs against West Indies; Dinesh Karthik out
The Bengal pacer was handed a recall in the one-day team yesterday after a year. He last played in ODI colours against Australia at Bangalore in 2017
Just as one thought that the Indian pace unit was more or less settled for the next year's World Cup in England, the national selectors brought back Mohammed Shami in the ODI mix for the first two ODIs against West Indies (Guwahati on October 21 and Vizag on October 24).
The Bengal pacer was handed a recall in the one-day team yesterday after a year. He last played in ODI colours against Australia at Bangalore in 2017. Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad explained the rationale behind Shami's selection: "I've been saying this for quite some time that we are just 18 ODIs away from our first World Cup game. So, we need to figure out our fast bowlers. In the process, we have picked Shami.
"Now, we are looking at the third and fourth seamers. They will be among those people whom we are going to pick from now, which also includes Umesh Yadav." Frontline pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested for the first two matches while skipper Virat Kohli, who missed the Asia Cup to manage his workload, will be back to take charge of the team from deputy Rohit Sharma.
The inclusion of Rishabh Pant could be another move to bolster the middle-order where there have been too many experiments already. Pant has been brought in place of Dinesh Karthik, who managed just 146 runs in all six matches of the Asia Cup.
Prasad said that Pant is being looked at purely as a batsman in this set-up. However, the chief selector also felt that the middle-order will have a settled look to it soon. "We are very close. It's been in the debate for some time and we have really closed in on a couple of names," he said. It was surprising that the selectors handed Manish Pandey another chance in the middle order despite repeated failures.
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