The Indian selectors, on Tuesday (May 8), announced the squad of Team India for the limited-overs series against England and Twenty20 International series against Ireland respectively.
Considering the fact that the next World Cup is slated for next year in the United Kingdom (UK), there were speculations that the selectors would name familiar faces. However, the MSK Prasad-led panel sprung quite a few surprises.
Ajinkya Rahane, one of the prime candidates for the number four batting spot, faced an axe. On the other hand, KL Rahul and Sidharth Kaul, who are having a great Indian Premier League (IPL) season, made it to the team.
The number four spot has been a major area of concern for the team management.
Interestingly, the position is the link between the top-order and the lower middle-order and the right man needs to occupy it in order to keep the balance of the playing XI intact.
Since Sri Lanka toured in July-August last year, the team has experimented extensively but without much success.
The likes KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik were tried at that position but none of them managed to impress.
Quick Read: BCCI Announces A Squad for England Tour
Rahane was then given the chance to make that spot his own earlier this year in South Africa. He began the series with an impressive 86-ball 79. However, in the subsequent games, he could only manage scores of 11, 8, 8 and 34*.
India ODI squad:
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
As far as the T20I series is concerned, the selectors have named same squads for both the series. Virat Kohli will return from his county stint to lead the side in Ireland. Umesh Yadav, who last played a T20I in 2012, has found a place in the team for his impressive showing in the IPL.
India T20I squad:
Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Sidharth Kaul, Umesh Yadav.
Not surprisingly, the squads caused quite a buzz on the social media. Here are some of the reactions:
The big news is the return of Rayudu and the selection of Kaul. Both had knocked the door down, not merely tapped on it. Like with the selection of Parthiv earlier, Rayudu's selection is a signal that age will not be held against a player seeking a comeback
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 8, 2018
— Sriram (@SriramARR) May 8, 2018
What a time for Rahane. He was backed to play at No:4 in SA and now dropped. BCCI clowns have no strategy ever #ENGvIND
— Vinodh (@boredcricketfan) May 8, 2018
Siddharth Kaul gets the well deserved call to the Indian team. How IPL can get you instant fame is amazing. #ENGvIND
— Aneri2099 (@aneritheartist) May 8, 2018
Ajinkya Rahane should always be in team when we have to do a overseas tour …whether its Tests or ODIs …he is too classy to be dropped…what you need him to do to be in ODI squad ?? #ENGvIND
— Abhishek dwivedi (@abhishek_srkfan) May 8, 2018
That's the end of the road for Ajinkya Rahane then in the LOIs? Good to see Rayudu in the ODIs along with Kaul in both the formats. Manish Pandey's inclusion in the T20I side can be debatable but overall a balanced side in both the formats.
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) May 8, 2018
Got to feel bad for Mayank Agarwal, had one staggering domestic season , a relatively quite IPL and then boom everyone forgets him !
Personally he deserved an ODI call up #ENGvIND @BCCI
What say sir @bhogleharsha ?
— Ashritha (@imashritha) May 8, 2018