2018-12-25 by W.M.
MS Dhoni returns to India’s T20I squad for New Zealand tour
MS Dhoni is back in India’s T20I squad. He hadn’t found a place in India’s two most recent T20I squads, against West Indies at home and in Australia, but he has returned as one of three wicketkeeper-batsmen for the three-match T20I series in New Zealand in early February.
In more spinning of the wicketkeeping carousel, Dinesh Karthik is back in the ODI squads for Australia and New Zealand, replacing Rishabh Pant. Pant played three of the five ODIs against West Indies, as a specialist batsman, and scored 17 and 24.
Pant is currently playing the Test series in Australia. According to the BCCI’s selection release, he will return home after the Tests to play for India A in a five-match one-day series against England Lions.
Among the middle-order batsmen, Manish Pandey has missed out on both squads. Pandey was on the bench for all five ODIs against West Indies, and didn’t get a chance in the T20I series in Australia. In the T20Is against West Indies, he batted twice, scoring 19 and 4*.
Kedar Jadhav, who has been an ODI regular but wasn’t part of the recent T20Is, is back in favour in the shortest format. Hardik Pandya, the seam-bowling allrounder, is back as expected after recovering from the back injury that he sustained during the Asia Cup in September.
With Jadhav and Hardik returning to the T20I squad, batsman Shreyas Iyer and the spin-bowling allrounder Washington Sundar have missed out.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav finds himself out of both the ODI and T20I squads. The selectors have gone with Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Mohammed Shami as the four frontline quicks in the ODI squad, and Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar and Khaleel as a trio for the T20Is.
Shami was part of the initial squad for the ODIs against West Indies, but was left out for the last three ODIs when Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah returned after being rested.