Dhoni back in India's T20I squad against New Zealand

The BCCI selection commitee, on Monday, announced the squads for the ODI and T20I series against Australia and New Zealand.

M.S. Dhoni has returned to the T20 fold after being dropped for the T20Is against West Indies and Australia.   -  Getty Images

India will have the luxury of three wicketkeepers for the Twenty20 internationals to be played against New Zealand next February.

The selection committee retained Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, and also recalled Mahendra Singh Dhoni —  who played his last Twenty20 international against England in Bristol on July 8 — for the three matches to be played in Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton. Dhoni, however, is the first choice keeper.

There is no statement from the national selection committee in the BCCI announcement made on Monday with regard to Dhoni’s return.

With the think tank virtually assuring him of a place in the team for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in England,  Dhoni’s selection for the three-match ODI series against Australia and five-match ODI series against New Zealand was a foregone conclusion.

A few former India captains and players had expressed concern over Dhoni's diminishing form in the shortest form of the game this year, although he averaged a scoring rate of 9.34 in the five matches, batting once at No, 4 and four times at No. 6.

The Delhi wicket-keeper batsman, Pant, does not figure in the ODI series to be played against Australia and New Zealand.

In the seven innings of the eight matches he played against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies and Australia this year, Pant scored a meagre 114 runs off  96 balls. Karthik has also kept wickets in nine Twenty20 matches this year.

The chairman of the selection committee, M.S.K. Prasad, who is in Australia now, would have consulted Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri and thereafter his colleagues, before taking deciding to bring back Dhoni for the Twenty20 matches.

India ODI squad against Australia and New Zealand: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar, Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Shami

India T20I squad against New Zealand: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed