Umesh, Shami back for Australia ODIs

The two fast bowlers find a spot in the India squad for the first three ODIs in the upcoming series against Australia.

Mohammed Shami (left) and Umesh Yadav last played ODIs for India in the Caribbean in July.   -  K. R. Deepak

Persisting with the recently-adopted rotation policy with an eye on the taxing international commitments till the 2019 World Cup, India's national selectors have brought in pace bowlers Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami at the expense of rookie Shardul Thakur for the first three of the five ODIs against Australia. The series starts in Chennai on September 17.

While there was hardly any surprise from the squad that whitewashed Sri Lanka in the Emerald Isles, Yadav and Shami will get a first taste of competitive cricket since the conclusion of the Test series in Sri Lanka last month. After the BCCI statement that announced the squad following a video-conference call between the selectors and the acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, Sportstar understands that Thakur will get more chances during the busy home season. The Mumbai pacer earned his maiden international cap during the ODI series in Sri Lanka.

Read: ODIs will be played in good spirit, assures Steve Smith

What is surprising, however, is the selectors' decision to pick a 16-member squad for a home series. While the squad in Sri Lanka consisted of 15 members, the selectors have brought in an additional pace bowler, retaining the successful batting line-up along with the spin triumvirate of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel.

Ashwin sidelined again
 

"The team for the three ODIs against Australia has been selected in line with the rotation policy of the board and accordingly R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been rested," chief selector M.S.K. Prasad said in the statement.

"The team's performance during the Sri Lanka tour was outstanding and players like Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who performed very well are being given an extended run and this will in turn supplement our approach, to build a strong reserve strength, as we prepare for forthcoming tours."

However, Sportstar understands that the team management in consultation with the selection committee may have preferred to look for options beyond Ashwin for white-ball cricket. The highly successful off-spinner in Tests has achieved little success in coloured clothing over the last couple of years. Besides, considering his limitations in the field, it may not be a surprise if Ashwin, at present plying his trade for Nottinghamshire in County Championship in England, is not seen in action in the limited overs' fixtures in the next couple of months.

Jadeja, who has also been rested since the conclusion of the Test series in Sri Lanka, may well be called up for the last two ODIs against Australia.

 

India ODI squad (for first three ODIs against Australia)
  • Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, K. L. Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Ajinkya Rahane, M. S. Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami.

India A squad
  • Priyank Panchal, R. Samarth, Sudip Chatterjee, Shreyas Iyer, Ankit Bawne, Karun Nair (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shahbaz Nadeem, K. Gowtham, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Ankit Rajpoot.