The selection committee meeting was delayed for more than two hours due to the convenor — acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary — being stuck in traffic while driving down from Mumbai.
By the time he arrived, India-A coach Rahul Dravid had left. In came Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to join the five selectors and six different squads were finalised here on Friday.
Besides Kedar Jadhav's addition to India's ODI squad for the fourth and fifth matches against the West Indies, here are the salient features from the selections:
Kohli rested for Windies T20s: Rohit Sharma will lead India in white-ball cricket for the third series in 2018, with captain Virat Kohli having been rested for the three-match T20 series.
Perhaps it's his sore back or perhaps the selectors and the management want to be extra-cautious considering the important challenges ahead. Chief selector M.S.K. Prasad cited “workload management” as the reason.
Dhoni’s omission: India is set to play six T20s in November and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not be part of the change-room for either the three T20s versus Windies or the following T20s in Australia.
The reason: according to Prasad, the selectors want to try out Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeping options. Dhoni's omission is perhaps the first clear indication that the veteran 'keeper-batsman is indeed at the fag end of his international career.
Rohit, Vijay, Parthiv back: Opener M. Vijay, white-ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel have been recalled for the four-Test series in Australia. Prasad said Vijay, after being dropped mid-way through the Test series in England, has shown “intent by scoring runs in county cricket”, whereas Rohit will come in handy considering “his back-foot play suits the bouncy pitches” down under.
As for Parthiv, who had been given the cold shoulder since the series in South Africa, Prasad said his “experience” and “ability to double-up as opener” went in his favour.
Hardik Pandya update: Ever since breaking down during the Asia Cup, Hardik Pandya has been out of action. He now features in only the India-A one-day squad for the three-match series in New Zealand.
That too, Prasad clarified, provided he proves his fitness in the Ranji Trophy. While Pandya is unlikely to feature in the first half of the Australia series, Prasad said the selectors hoped “Bhuvi will stand up” and make himself count as a pace-bowling all-rounder.
Test specialists for NZ-A warm-up: Six members of the Test squad — Vijay, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit, Ajinkya Rahane and Patel — will fly to New Zealand and play a four-day match for India-A against New Zealand-A from November 16 to 19 before joining the Test specialists in Australia.
It would mean Rohit will join the squad in Australia on the eve of the first T20. Karun Nair, who served drinks in England, has been excluded from the Test squad and will replace Rahane as captain for the last two A games in New Zealand.
Maiden call-up for Nadeem: After toiling in domestic cricket for a long time, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem finally received a call-up, selected for the three T20s versus West Indies.
Considering his record in domestic cricket and his recent form, having registered the best figures in List-A cricket ever in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Nadeem will have every reason to think “better late than never”.
Team for three T20I match series against West Indies:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.
Team for four-match Test series against Australia:
Virat Kohli (C), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Team for three-match T20I series against Australia:
Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed.
India A team for first four-day game against New Zealand A:
Ajinkya Rahane (C), M Vijay, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel (wk), K Gowtham, Shahbaz Nadeem, Md Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, R Gurbani, Vijay Shankar, KS Bharath.