June 25, 2017

India in West Indies 2017: Pant, Kuldeep picked for West Indies tour

Rishabh Pant (ZeeNews photo)

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav have been picked for India’s limited-overs tour of West Indies, which comprises five ODIs and a T20 international soon after the Champions Trophy ends in England. Opener Rohit Sharma and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah are the only members from the Champions Trophy squad who won’t be making the trip to the Caribbean.

It is understood that Anil Kumble will remain India’s coach for the West Indies tour. Kumble’s one-year contract ends with the Champions Trophy but he has accepted the BCCI’s offer to stay on until the board decides on the next coach. Kumble is one of the candidates in contention, after the BCCI invited applications for the job amid reports that Virat Kohli and some senior players were unhappy with Kumble’s methods.

When India announced the squad for the Champions Trophy, the selectors had said they had discussed both Pant and Kuldeep, but went with experience for the big tournament. The two were part of the five players kept on standby should there be need for an injury replacement. The chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, had called them players for the future.

Pant has had the cricket community excited with his aggressive batting, which included a 326-ball 308 in the Ranji Trophy last season. Kuldeep made his Test debut in the same season, and took crucial wickets on day one of the Dharamsala Test and helped India win the series against Australia.

The BCCI did not state why Rohit and Bumrah had been left out of the squad. Rohit had only returned to the India squad for the Champions Trophy, after missing the majority of the 2016-17 home season because of injury. ESPNcricinfo learned there are plans to introduce Bumrah to Test cricket on the tour of Sri Lanka in July-August and so wanted to rest him for a bit.

Squad Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Dinesh Karthik. (ESPNCricinfo)