Jadeja, Ashwin and Shami rested Looking at the busy schedule ahead, BCCI have decided to rest Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammad Shami. These three are regular members of Indian team across all three formats and have over 70 days of cricket to play in next 6 months.
Injury list KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are forced to sit out of first three ODIs due to injuries. KL Rahul is still nursing his right hamstring which he pulled during first test at Kanpur while Shikhar Dhawan fractured his thumb when he was struck by a delivery from Trent Boult in Kolkata test. Bhuvaneshwar suffered a back strain in Kolkata test. KL Rahul had a great start to his ODI career when he smashed a hundred on debut against Zimbabwe in June and scored 196 runs in that series. He was in great form in short format of the game prior to his injury. He smashed a hundred against West Indies and was one of the top batsmen in IPL this year. Shikhar Dhawan despite struggling in test cricket has a good year so far in ODI cricket. He has 287 runs in 5 innings at an average of 57.40. Bhuvaneshwar had a great IPL this year where he ended up as leading wicket taker and he did well in the Kolkata test too.
Comebacks Suresh Raina, Amit Mishra, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav are making their comebacks to ODI cricket. While Suresh Raina and Amit Mishra played their last ODI match back in 2015 against South Africa and were dropped for Australia tour, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Umesh Yadav were rested on Zimbabwe tour to give chance to the youngsters.
Debutants India's last over hero against Bangladesh in T-20 world cup Hardik Pandya and Delhi Dare Devils off spinner Jayant Yadav are named in the squad. Both are expected to make an ODI debut in the absence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Batsmen Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Mandeep Singh and Kedar Jadhav
Wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C)
All Rounders Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya and Jayant Yadav
Bowlers Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah and Amit Mishra
Current form M.S.Dhoni: After retirement from test cricket, Dhoni is less active at International scenes. Last time he played for India was on 28th august against West Indies. He went to Zimbabwe with young Indian team as well. In his last 10 matches in recognized cricket he has batted just 4 times and has 135 runs. His form behind the wicket is not bad either as he has 8 dismissals in his last 10 games.
Ajinkya Rahane: Ajinkya Rahane has 141 runs at 47.00 this year in ODI cricket. Last ODI he played was way back in January but his form in IPL was not bad either and if you look at his last 10 innings in recognized cricket, he has 427 runs at an average of 71.16 which suggests he is in good form.
Rohit Sharma: One day specialist Rohit Sharma is having a Bradmansque year so far in ODI cricket. He has scored 441 runs in just 5 matches with 2 centuries and 1 half century. His aggregates in last 10 innings in recognized cricket are 473 runs at an average of 94.6 which means he is in great form.
Virat Kohli: Currently the best limited over batsman Virat Kohli is having a great year in ODI cricket (Which is not a surprise). Kohli has amassed 381 runs in ODI cricket so far this year in 5 innings at an average of 76.20 with 2 centuries and 2 half centuries. He finished IPL as highest run scorer this year and also became leading run scorer in a single T-20 tournament. His last 10 innings have aggregated 413 runs at an average of 51.62. Although he is having a quiet test series so far, he is expected to back with the bang in the format of his liking.
Manish Pandey: Manish Pandey is currently playing in Karnataka Premier League and so far he has struggled to score runs. His highest score in 6 games is 44 and he has accumulated 127 runs at an average of 21.16. Although he is struggling in KPL, he had a great 'A' series in Australia in September where he was the leading run scorer with 359 runs in 7 games at an average of 59.83.
Suresh Raina: Suresh Raina was not in greatest of form in IPL this year. He captained India green in Duleep trophy which concluded in September and scored 177 runs in 3 innings. His aggregates in last 10 innings are 348 runs at 38.66.
Hardik Pandya: Hardik Pandya has scored 140 runs at an average of 20 in his last 10 innings in recognized cricket. With bowl he has 9 wickets in his last 10 innings. His performance in 'A' series was decent.
Axar Patel: The left arm spinner from Gujrat, Axar Patel has 90 runs at 30 in 5 innings of last 10 matches that he have played. With bowl, he has 9 wickets in same time.
Jayant Yadav: Jayant went to Australia with Indian A team and accumulated 8 wickets with his off spin across both formats of the game. His record with the bat was not as impressive there as he only managed 92 runs in 5 innings.
Amit Mishra: Amit Mishra had decent outings in his last 10 games. He snapped 18 wickets in the given time and 164 runs in 6 innings with the bat too.
Jasprit Bumrah: Jasprit Bumrah has registered 17 wickets at an impressive average of 20 across all formats in his last 10 innings.
Dhawal Kulkarni: Dhawal Kulkarni got 9 wickets in six innings across both formats in 'A' series at an average of 24.66.
Umesh Yadav: Umesh Yadav so far has picked up 7 wickets in 5 ODIs his year at an average of 49.28 while his economy rate is on higher side with 7.21. He had a decent IPL with 10 wickets in 9 games at an average of 23.40 but again his economy was 9.
Mandeep Singh: Mandeep had a quiet start to the 'A' series in Australia but he regained form in final stages of the tournament. He scored 198 runs at an average of 33. Prior to the 'A' series he scored 89 runs in 3 innings on Zimbabwe tour.
Kedar Jadhav: Kedar Jadhav had a great outing in the 'A' series as he scored 254 runs at an average of 63.5. Most of these runs came under critical situation.
The Indian Team for the first three ODIs has been announced. The Members are:-
MS Dhoni (Capt & Wicket-keeper), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Mandeep Singh and Kedar Jadhav.
My comments in respect of the team are:-
(a) I support the decision to rest R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami for the first three ODIs, keeping in view the packed oncoming session.
(b) What would be the precise role of Mandeep Singh and Kedar Jadhav in the team? Earlier, they remained with the team as spectators.
(c) I do not support the omission of Ambati Rayudu and Barinder Sran. Rayudu is a player with experience. Sran is very promising.
(d) I always feel that a second wicket-keeper is always a must in case of emergencies. I feel that Wriddhiman Saha should be in the ODI team.
To your comments about Mandeep Singh and Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh is there because of his brilliance in domestic arena for over 4 years. He did well on Zimbabwe tour too. His batting has improved over the years and can come in the place of either Raina or Pandey in the case they failed or got injured. He will get immense experience of International cricket from nets with likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Kedar Jadhav is the answer to your last question. He did well as a keeper not just at domestic level but also in IPL. In the case Dhoni got injured (Which is highly unlikely), Kedar can fill in the role and KL Rahul will surely comeback after first three ODIs so there will be enough back up for wicket keeping. Rayudu didn’t have a great IPL for his standards as he managed only 334 runs with 2 fifties in 14 innings. He had just 1 fifty in 6 innings on Zimbabwe tour and since he is now 31, there is no point in having him instead of Mandeep Singh in the squad.