Kuldeep Yadav surprise pick in India’s ODI squad

RSTV Bureau

Rookie left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the surprise inclusion, while leg-spinner Amit Mishra was recalled in India’s 14-member squad for the first three ODIs against the West Indies, starting October 8 at Kochi.

Regular off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was rested while Murali Vijay also made a comeback in place of an injured Rohit Sharma in the squad announced by the BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel after a meeting of the selection committee.

The 19-year-old Yadav, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, is the surprise inclusion and the lone new face in the squad, getting the nod ahead of experienced left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha.

Yadav was rewarded for his performance in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 where he bagged seven wickets so far playing for Kolkata Knight Riders.

He will become the first cricketer in the last 10 years to make it to the national team without playing a single first-class or list A match.

Apart from the selection of Yadav, there was no other major surprise in the squad which had no place for Karn Sharma, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson and Dhawal Kulkarni, all of whom figured in the 17-member ODI team that had toured England recently.

The pace department has seen no changes with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma and Umesh Yadav retaining their places.

Vijay was lucky to get a place in the team after Rohit was ruled out of the series due to finger and shoulder injuries.

Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are likely to open the innings with Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni batting in the middle-order.

The first ODI of the five-match series against the West Indies will be held in Kochi on October 8, followed by games in New Delhi on October 11 and Vishakhapatna on October 14.

The last two matches of the series will be played in Dharamshala (October 17) and Kolkata (October 20).

Team for the first three ODIs: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Murali Vijay, Kuldeep Yadav.