Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube has earned himself a maiden India call-up, figuring in the squad for the three-T20I series against Bangladesh at home in November. Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson has got a recall, having played his only previous international game – a T20I against Zimbabwe in Harare – back in July 2015.
Regular captain Virat Kohli has been rested for the T20I series, and MS Dhoni continued to be absent. Rohit Sharma will lead the team in the T20Is.
The three games will be played between November 3 and 10 in Delhi, Rajkot and Nagpur.Kohli, however, was a part of the squad for the two Tests – Indore (November 14 to 18) and Kolkata (November 22 to 26) – as he leads a side featuring the first-choice 15 from the recent series against South Africa at home. Shahbaz Nadeem, who replaced an injured Kuldeep Yadav for the final Test of that series for his Test debut, was left out with the left-arm wristspinner fit for action again.
Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya didn’t feature in discussions following their surgeries in the UK earlier this month for back injuries.
Hardik’s absence, in particular, opened the doors for Dube’s inclusion in the shortest format, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad said. “In our earlier T20 squad, we had Hardik, we also tried Vijay Shankar, we all felt that the role Shivam has to deliver in, he fits in much better. He bats aggressively, his performances in the India A series in West Indies and also against South Africa in the one-dayers was phenomenal. Dube has gone up by leaps and bounds and we are convinced.”
Pant has been the natural heir to Dhoni, who hasn’t featured in any international fixture since India’s exit from the 50-over World Cup earlier this year, but Samson could well push him for a slot in the XI – both of them, however, are also capable of playing as specialist batsmen.
“We’re looking at younger options after the World Cup, so you can understand our thought process. We definitely had a chat with Dhoni and he also endorses our view of backing youngsters,” Prasad said of 22-year-old Pant and 24-year-old Samson, whom he also called “a back-up wicketkeeper option”.
T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur
Test squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant (wk)
More to follow…