India vs Australia: Rahul Returns, Karthik Dropped from ODI Squad

India vs Australia: Rahul Returns, Karthik Dropped from ODI Squad

India will play two T20s and five ODIs, starting February 24, in what will be their last worldwide assignment before the World Cup, which begins in England and Wales on May 30. Virat Kohli is back after rest and will lead the Indian cricket team.

Prasad reasoned that Pant featured in the four-match Test series against Australia so they opted to rest him for the ODI series.

".as a back-up spinner we are looking at him (Markande)". We have been grooming him though India A process and today also he picked up a five-wicket haul.

However, all eyes were on the ODI squad which is supposed to be a mirror image of the team that will be travelling to England. In fact, this series will be India's last ODI series before the 2019 World Cup kicks off. The selectors want to test him out before the World Cup and the onus is now on Rahul to get the ball rolling and grab this opportunity to nail his spot as the third opener for the World Cup.

Pant had missed out on one-day selection for the tours of Australia and New Zealand, but has got another chance to audition for the second wicketkeeper's position.

Punjab seamer Siddarth Kaul seems to have joined the race for the fourth pacer's slot at the business end of the preparation cycle. Indian pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been selected for the Australia tie but will be sitting out of the first two games of the series.

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"Siddarth Kaul is doing well and is now a part of the mix", Prasad said.

All-rounder Vijay Shankar, who made his ODI debut in Australia, keeps his place while Ravindra Jadeja has been left out.

"Shankar's performance in the recent series really changed a bit of dynamics and he brings a double impact to the side that's why have we have included him".

The successful wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were the obvious picks for the ODIs and are set to travel to England where the two-times champions begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5. Kedar Jadhav is expected to chip in with a few overs of off-break. Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar also opined on the same and was apparently quite furious with the selectors' decision.

"We have been in conversation with the franchises on all issues concerning the game of cricket as well as the interests of the country", he said.

T20I squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit (vice-capt), K L Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, M S Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul and Mayank Markande.

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