India vs West Indies: Rishabh Pant gets maiden ODI call-up; pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah rested for first two games
Flamboyant Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant got his maiden One-Day Internationals (ODI) call-up for the upcoming series against the Windies on Thursday. The explosive left-handed batsman, who followed his maiden Test ton at The Oval with a sparkling 92 in Rajkot in the first Test of the ongoing series, has been included purely as a batsman, while veteran gloveman MS Dhoni will continue to keep wickets.
Dhoni's batting has been on the wane for sometime now, and India have been hard-pressed to find a trusted finisher. In the absence of Hardik Pandya, who was stretched off the field after suffering back spasms during a group match against Pakistan in last month's Asia Cup, the onus would be on Pant to provide late-over ballast to India's innings.
India would also look to address the festering middle-order woes against the touring Caribbeans. Ambati Rayudu, who impressed in the Asia Cup, has retained his place, as has Manish Pandey, who, despite a poor tournament, has benefitted with Kedar Jadhav's absence.
Virat Kohli returns to the ODI fold, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been given rest for the first two games. The five-match ODI series starts on 21 October in Guwahati, before the action shifts to Visakhapatnam, Pune, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram. The ODI series will be followed by three T20Is in Kolkata, Lucknow, and Chennai.
India currently lead the two-Test series. The second Test starts in Hyderabad on 12 October.
India squad for first 2 ODIs vs West Indies: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (Vice-Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul