Hardik Pandya is just three matches old in Test cricket but he already has a record to his name. In the third Test against Sri Lanka, Pandya came into bat at number eight and scored a 86-ball century for India.
The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced India’s squad for the upcoming ODI series and lone T20I against Sri Lanka, with veteran Yuvraj Singh being the notable exclusion. KL Rahul and Manish Pandey, both of whom missed the 2017 Champions Trophy due to injury, made comebacks, while Mumbai batsman Rohit Sharma, who captained Mumbai Indians to their third IPL title in 2017, was named the vice-captain.
There have been seven changes made in total from the last time India played an ODI series
A significant call made by the selectors is the omission of the 35-year old Yuvraj. He made 162 runs in his last 7 innings in ODIs with just one fifty.
Pandey, who was sidelined from national duty due to a side strain during the IPL this year, returned in stunning fashion in List A cricket. He led India A to victory in the tri-series in South Africa earlier this month, and led the run-charts with 307 runs in five innings. He last played an ODI against New Zealand in October 2016 and has now regained his spot in the national team.
The other four front-line bowlers for India – Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami and Umesh – have been replaced by almost like-for-like choices.
Bumrah and Rohit, who has also been named the vice-captain of the team, return to the squad after being rested for the series against West Indies.
With Rahul, who last played a limited-overs game for India in February 2017, too returning to the side, the likes of Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik were left out. Shardul, who finished as the leading wicket-taker for India A in the recently concluded tri-series, earned a call-up.
This will be India’s first ODI assignment after West Indies tour. The final of Champions Trophy exposed India’s slow bowling frailties. Both Ashwin and Jadeja, who have been rested for this series, were left wanting as Fakhar Zaman attacked his way to his maiden ODI century in the summit clash. Ahead of the ODI series against Australia, which will begin on 17 September, the Men in Blue would be eager to solve the spinner conundrum.
India squad: Virat Kohli(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah