The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday (May 23) named a young 16-member squad, to be led by MS Dhoni, for India's upcoming limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe starting June 11.
Royal Challengers Bangalore duo of wicketkeeper-bat KL Rahul and leggie Yuzvendra Chahal and Delhi Daredevils batsman Karun Nair are amongst the six uncapped players who received their maiden call-up for the limited-overs series after a fruitful season in the Indian Premier League.
While Dhoni remains in-charge of the squad, all the other big stars - including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan amongst others - have been given a much-deserved break before the four-Test series in West Indies.
Sandep Patil, selection committee chairman, revealed it was skipper Dhoni who wanted fresh faces for the Zimbabwe series. "Zimbabwe tour is looked as specially for the youngsters to try and test them. The young team which has been sent should give their best and perform. Nothing better opportunity than this. They will get ample experience from this. Dhoni himself wanted to tour Zimbabwe and help the youngsters," Patil said at a press conference in Mumbai after announcing the squads.
Rahul has been amongst the consistent scorers for the Royal Challengers with 386 runs from 10 innings - four of which have been scores of fifty-plus. Nair's tally reads 357 runs in 12 outings for the Daredevils. Chahal, on the other hand, finished the league stages as the leading wicket-taker with 19 scalps from 11 games he featured in.
Patil also defended the selectors' decision to not consider Shreyas Iyer, who was ignored despite a domestic season where he topped the run-charts with a mammoth tally of 1321 runs in 18 innings."We discussed Shreyas as well as others. We did consider their names but it is difficult to fit in all players in a 15-16 member squad," he said.
Team India is slated to play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many Twenty20 Internationals in Zimbabwe before heading to West Indies, the schedule of which is yet to be announced.
Limited-overs squad for Zimbabwe series: MS Dhoni (Captain), KL Rahul, Faiz Fazal, Manish Pandey, Karun Nair, Ambati Rayudu, Rishi Dhawan, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Barinder Sran, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chaha
Young Indian Cricket Team with Captain Cool to tour Zimbabwe
4/ 5Oleh Cricket Earth