MS Dhoni name still missing; Sanju Samson, Rishab Pant get yet another chance to prove their mettle
MSK Prasad announced the team while naming Kerala wicketkeeper Sanju Samson and Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube has earned his maiden call-up to the national team after his Vijay Hazare heroics.
Commenting about the teams, MSK Prasad, the chairman of the selection committee said that giving youngsters chance and building the team for the T20 World Cup in Australia is main on the agenda.
There have been many if's and but's about the team, especially the short version but the chairman was quick to clear the air on all issues raised by the media here on Thursday.
Elobrating on the omission of Virat Kohli, he said he (Virat) has been given a break and rested as he has being playing the game for a while, and while saying that they (BCCI) is looking for young blood in the side.
"We are giving opportunities to youngsters and see that they establish themselves in the side. With Rishabh Pant doing so well and Sanju Samson coming into the side, I am sure, you must be understanding our thought process," he said when asked about omission of MS Dhoni in the side.
The selection committee has tested and tried many youngsters and this Series against Bangla Desh is nodiffrent, as the chief of the selection said, "we had Hardik Pandya, then we also tried Vijay Shankar, so for this series Dube along with the others will be tested in this big league.
Talking about the Mumbai Alll-rounders inclusion in the side, he said, "Dube fits in very well, he bats aggressively, his performances in the India A Series in West Indies and also against South Africa in the ODIs (for India A) was phenomenal. He has gone up by leaps and bounds, a notch higher and we are convinced about it."
The other omission was Shahbaaz Nadeem who was good at the Ranchi Test, but the selection committee chief said that they (committee) was convinced with Nadeem and with his performances in domestic cricket also.
We had drafted him into the squad when Kuldeep Yadav had an injury on his shoulder. With the opportunities that we have given to Nadeem, he has really excelled. The fact remains that we have to go back to Kuldeep, he is our premier bowler in the squad."
Selection Committee has moved beyond Dhoni. "I have been very clear on this, that after World Cup we have started backing Rishabh Pant. So we will still back him (Pant) and see that he progresses well," said Prasad, while adding "he might not have the best of the matches, the way we except of him, but we can still only make a player by backing somebody.
So we are confident that he (Pant) will come out successful". Samson has been looked as a back-up wicket-keeping option. "Yes, we are looking at him as a batsman who can keep," said Prasad.
In the Test squad there is only one change from the one which featured against South Africa with Shahbaz Nadeem, who was called up for the 3rd Test in Ranchi, not finding a place in the 15-man squad.