Rishabh Pant picked for first two ODIs against Windies 

MSK Prasad informed that MS Dhoni will play the Vijay Hazare knockouts for Jharkhand in order to get ready for the upcoming limited-overs challenge.

Rishabh Pant made his Test debut against England earlier this year.   -  AFP

The BCCI chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, on Thursday announced a 14-member India squad for the first two ODIs against the West Indies.

Virat Kohli will lead the side while Rohit Sharma, who captained in the Asia Cup, will be back as his deputy.

Rishabh Pant has been selected as a second choice keeper-batsman even as M.S. Dhoni continues to be India's first choice.

Prasad informed that the former India captain will play the Vijay Hazare knockouts for Jharkhand in order to get ready for the upcoming limited-overs challenge.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested while Mohammed Shami has returned to the ODI set up as part of the team management's search for the third seamer ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who sustained a back injury during the Asia Cup match against Pakistan, is expected to regain full fitness by second week of November. Kedar Jadhav, who suffered a hamstring strain during the final against Bangladesh, is still undergoing recovery.

With the World Cup just eight months away, India is still searching for a perfect middle order combination but Prasad assured that the think-tank 'was close' to finding the right candidates.

Meanwhile, following India's Asia Cup title victory, talks about split captaincy — with Kohli helming the Test side and Rohit, the ODI and T20 — had gained traction. However, Prasad chose to tread the middle line.

"Kohli has been brilliant for us, both as a player as well as a captain. He has led by example. That said, whenever an opportunity has presented itself, both Rohit and Ajinkya (Rahane), have shown their mettle (as leaders) in different formats. That's the kind of environment we want to breed in the team where all players will start thinking liking leaders. That's when we'll become an unbeatable unit."

Squad for first two ODIs: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, K.L. Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal  



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