There was no place for Rishabh Pant in India’s ODI and T20I squads for the Sri Lanka series starting January 3.
The outgoing selection committee’s calls continued to raise eyebrows with India’s ODI and T20I squads for the Sri Lanka home series being named on Tuesday. Hardik Pandya will lead India in the three-match T20I series starting January 3 while Rohit Sharma will return for the ODI series. Rohit hasn’t recovered fully from the left thumb injury he suffered during the second ODI against Bangladesh. The T20I side bears a fresh look with Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill’s inclusion and two young seamers Shivam Mavi and Mukesh Kumar earning their maiden call-ups. Suryakumar Yadav, who was rested from the Bangladesh series also returns to the side and has been named as the vice-captain of the T20I side.
With Hardik Pandya being elevated as the vice-captain in the ODIs despite KL Rahul’s presence signalling a clear shift in the leadership role in white-ball cricket, there were many omissions and inclusions that were surprising. Has Rishabh Pant been dropped from the ODIs and T20Is? Rohit Sharma might not have recovered from the thumb injury and KL Rahul is unavailable due to personal reasons but why is Virat Kohli’s name not there in the T20I squad? Does that mean, he won’t be considered for the shortest format anymore? Is it the same with Bhuvneshwar Kumar? His name doesn’t feature in any of the squads. What about Shikhar Dhawan? The man who led India in most ODI series last year, has not been named in the ODI squad for the Sri Lanka series. Is he injured or has been finally shown the door? Why was Sanju Samson dropped from ODIs?
The BCCI press release does not give any clarity whatsoever on the exclusion and inclusions. “The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked India’s squads for the upcoming Mastercard Sri Lanka Tour of India to be held in January 2023. The tour comprises three T20Is and as many ODIs,” this is all it reads apart from the 16 names each for the three T20Is and the three ODIs.