BCCI announces India's limited-overs squads for WI series: Key takeaways
The BCCI on Wednesday announced India's ODI and T20I squads for the upcoming series against West Indies next month. India are set to play three ODIs and the same number of T20Is versus West Indies, starting February 6. Interestingly, Kuldeep Yadav has been recalled for the ODIs. Batting all-rounder Deepak Hooda has been included. Ravi Bishnoi has been called up in both squads.
Why does it matter?
After a disappointing loss versus SA in the ODIs, India will need to bounce back at home against the Windies. With the ODI World Cup next year, India will be wanting to see how the players fare in the build-up and getting the right squad balance will be crucial. In T20Is, WI are a good side and India will have their task cut out.
Rohit's return boosts Team India
The return of Rohit Sharma gives India a much needed boost. He was ruled out of the recently concluded Test and ODI series against South Africa due to a hamstring injury. Rohit's leadership attributes will be crucial and he will lend a voice with the bat atop. He will want to make his presence felt and help India stake a claim.
Team India needs to find a balance in middle-order
India's middle-order is a cause of concern and this plagued the side in their tour of South Africa. The problem with India's middle-order is that the players in the mix are most suited playing up the order as they do for their respective IPL sides. So often we see changes in positions and makeshift options. India need to find the desired balance here.
ODIs: Will Rahul come on at number five?
With Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan expected to open the batting in ODIs, we might see KL Rahul drop down. Rahul may be preferred at number five as he batted in this position before. India need to then decide on their ideal number four batter. Rishabh Pant batted in this position versus SA. Also, there is Shreyas Iyer, who was seen as a long-term aspect.
India's experiment with all-rounders continue
With Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja absent due to injuries, India's experiment in the all-round department has continued. Venkatesh Iyer was chosen for the ODIs versus SA but he didn't make the desired impact. And now, Hooda has replaced him in the ODI squad. India also have bowling all-rounder Wahington Sundar in the side and he could come on as the third spin option.
Will India revert back to wrist-spinners in ODIs?
With R Ashwin undergoing treatment and Jadeja being absent, India have recalled Kuldeep. The left-arm wrist-spinner was a regular feature from 2017-2019 alongside Yuzvendra Chahal in the ODI set-up. However, Kuldeep faded out after inconsistent performances. He last played against Sri Lanka last year but was costly. The management may get tempted to try the wrist-spin combination of Kuldeep and Chahal one more time.
Much needed rest for Jasprit Bumrah
India have decided to hand a rest to their premier pacer Jasprit Bumrah. JB was India's best performer in the ODI series and prior to that he played all three Test matches. Bumrah has been handed a timely rest and this could help him recover well ahead of India's assignment against Sri Lanka. India have also rested Mohammed Shami against West Indies.
A look at India's ODI squad
India's ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan
India's T20I squad to face WI
India's T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel