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Selectors To Consider Resting Kohli and Bumrah, Take Call on Dhoni Availability

Cricketnext Staff |July 18, 2019, 8:37 PM IST
Selectors To Consider Resting Kohli and Bumrah, Take Call on Dhoni Availability

There is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the next selection committee meeting to pick the limited-overs and Test match squad for the tour of West Indies. After the Committee of Administrators (CoA) directive on Thursday (July 18), the BCCI communicated late in the evening that the scheduled meeting on Friday was postponed.

However, when the selection meeting does convene, there will be a lot on their agenda. The top issue that MSK Prasad & co. face is the future of former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The wicketkeeper batsman has not made his future his future plans in international cricket clear after India’s exit from the ICC World Cup 2019 semifinals.

It’s unlikely that Dhoni will be selected for the tour of the West Indies beginning August 3. The selectors want to rest him after a long international season, which included a full IPL-12 season leading Chennai Super Kings to the final.

The 38-year-old has been battling niggles in his back and injured his hand as well during the World Cup campaign.

The other issue will be resting the senior players in the team led by skipper Virat Kohli, pace bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and pacemen Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

All these players might be rested for the limited-overs leg, which features three T20s and three ODIs. But come August 22, when first of the two Tests begins, Kohli along with Bumrah should be available.

“The selectors might consider resting some players for the limited-overs series because they have had no break in the last couple of months starting with IPL-12. But they will be aware of the fact that the World Test Championships begins will two Tests in the West Indies for India. Every Test win is important especially away from home. So it’s possible they will send a full-strength squad for the Test series,” sources close to the selectors informed CricketNext.

If some of the frontline players are rested, the likes of Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed, Krunal Pandya, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill will fancy their chances. All of these players are part of the India ‘A’ squad currently touring the West Indies.

While Pandey scored a century in the last unofficial one-dayer against West Indies A, Gill and Iyer have also been in fine form with the bat. Saini and Ahmed were part of the new bowlers summoned by the Indian squad for the World Cup in England.

Delhi paceman Saini has been bowling with good pace through the series in West Indies while Ahmed has impressed in most opportunities that he has got in ODIs so far. The selectors will look to test out the bench strength in all departments as they begin planning for the 2020 World T20 and 2023 ODI World Cup.

Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw remain unavailable so far with injury and both are getting rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru currently.

The T20 Internationals are scheduled from August 3 to 6, while the ODIs will take place from August 8 to 14. The two-Test series will be played from August 22 to September 3.​

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