Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Hooda have been recalled for ODIs while rookie spinner Ravi Bishnoi received a maiden call-up for India’s forthcoming limited overs series against the West Indies.

While Rohit Sharma, having completed the formality of passing the fitness test earlier on Wednesday, returned at the helm of the team, the selectors have given key pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami a break with an eye on the T20 World Cup later in the year.

“Bumrah, Shami have been rested from the series. K.L. Rahul will be available from the second ODI,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a media statement.

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“Ravindra Jadeja is undergoing his final stage of recovery post his knee injury and will not be available. Axar Patel will be available for the T20Is.”

While the BCCI statement made no reference to R. Ashwin, Sportstar understands that the veteran off-spinner has been given a three-week break to manage a niggle and will recover well in time for the Test series against Sri Lanka, scheduled to start on February 25.

With Jadeja and Ashwin unavailable, the selectors decided to recall Kuldeep, who was last a part of India’s squad along with a second-string squad that toured Sri Lanka in July. Bishnoi’s elevation was expected since he has been on the selectors’ radar for a while.

The duo will lead India’s spin attack along with Washington Sundar, who has recovered from COVID-19 that forced him to skip the ODI series in South Africa.

Hooda emerged as the surprise pick as the all-rounder was preferred over Rishi Dhawan and M. Shahrukh Khan. It is understood that besides his prolific form for Rajasthan, his adopted home, in the domestic arena, the fact that he fulfills the need for an all-rounder and a big-hitter down the order worked in his favour.

The last time Hooda was part of India’s squad was during the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in 2018 but the lanky all-rounder is yet to make his international debut.


ODI squad:  Rohit Sharma (Capt), KL Rahul (vc)*, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), D Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan

* available from the second ODI

T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (Capt), KL Rahul (vc), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer,Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel