The squads for T20I series against Sri Lanka and the tour of South Africa will be picked around the time of the Delhi Test, which starts on December 2. Kohli will captain India at his home ground before going on break but there remains the “possibility” – according to a BCCI official – that he will be back for the T20Is starting in Cuttack on December 20.
Originally, the main reason for the selectors’ meeting was to pick the Test squad for the South Africa tour, which starts on January 5 in Cape Town. All three members of the panel – MSK Prasad, Devang Gandhi and Sarandeep Singh – were in Nagpur and were preparing to meet Kohli at the team hotel on Monday afternoon. However, ESPNcricinfo understands complications arose since Amitabh Choudhury, the BCCI secretary who is also the convenor of the selection panel, could not reach Nagpur. He was stuck in Mumbai due to flight delays. As a result, only the squads for the Delhi Test and the three ODIs that follow it were picked.
There were two new faces in the ODI squad: batsman Shreyas Iyer and seam bowler Siddarth Kaul. Hardik Pandya, the allrounder who was rested from the Test series, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who took leave on account of his wedding, will also be back for the ODIs which begin in Dharamsala on December 10.
Iyer, who replaced Kohli in the ODI squad, is among the most highly rated young batsmen in Indian cricket. He is uncapped in ODIs but made his international debut during the T20I series against New Zealand earlier this month.
Kaul, meanwhile, replaced Shardul Thakur, who was part of the ODI squad against New Zealand but didn’t get a game. Kaul hasn’t played international cricket yet, but has recently done well for India A in limited-overs series in South Africa and then at home against New Zealand A. He has also been among the wickets for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy, most recently picking up a five-for against Bengal. Thakur was unavailable due to a shoulder injury he picked up during a Ranji Trophy match against Tripura in Mumbai. The injury occurred during Tripura’s first innings and Thakur did not subsequently take part in the match.
There were no other changes in the ODI squad, with Kaul joining what is now a settled limited-overs bowling combination that also includes Bhuvneshwar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Pandya.
Rohit took over from Ajinkya Rahane as India’s ODI vice-captain ahead of their tour of Sri Lanka in July-August. He has done the job for India before, but has plenty of captaincy experience in franchise cricket, having led Mumbai Indians to three IPL titles in the last five seasons.
With Kohli rested, only six players who have been part of recent India Test squads – Rohit, Rahane, Pandya, Bhuvneshwar, Kuldeep and Shikhar Dhawan, who returns for the Delhi Test – are part of this ODI squad.
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.