Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar can be rested for the upcoming series against West Indies. No clarity on Dhoni’s inclusion.
Barely 48 hours have passed since India suffered a frustrating exit from the World Cup. During this time, the players trying to recover from the shock – have been holed inside their respective hotel rooms in London, waiting to hear from the BCCI about their flight details to return home.
There will not be much time for some of the cricketers to regroup soon after their return, once the national selectors meet in Mumbai on July 18 to announce the white and red-ball squads for the tour of West Indies.
While the national selectors remain unclear about MS Dhoni’s international future after India’s exit from the World Cup, they are planning to rest him in any case for India’s next international assignment – a tour of the West Indies starting on August 3 with three T20 internationals. The team is also scheduled to play three ODIs and two Tests.
In Dhoni’s absence, the selectors are likely to stick with Rishabh Pant. The Delhi wicketkeeper was, in fact, part of India A’s tour to West Indies, before he was called up as a replacement for injured Shikhar Dhawan.
We also learnt that several other players including skipper Virat Kohli and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as well as all-rounder Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could also be given a break.
“Kohli and Bumrah might be rested for the limited-overs series and possibly even the Test matches. A call on their availability for the Tests will be taken later,” a BCCI official said.
If Kohli is rested for the entire West Indies series, Rohit Sharma is expected to lead the side in ODIs and Ajinkya Rahane might be asked to captain the Test side. The selectors will speak to the team management including Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri before taking a final call.