Post World Cup, we are focussing on Rishabh Pant: MSK Prasad

Mumbai: After announcing India’s T20I and Test squad for the upcoming series against Bangladesh, chief selector MSK Prasad shed light on the team’s roadmap for the future and said post the World Cup, the management decided to go ahead with Rishabh Pant and other youngsters.

Pant has had a mixed bag with the bat this year as he managed to score just 23 runs against South Africa in two T20Is. And in the Test squad, Wriddhiman Saha was selected ahead of him in the squad.

“Post World Cup, I have been very clear on this. After the World Cup, we started backing Rishabh Pant, we will still back him. He might not have had best of matches of late, but we are confident that he will come good, Post the World Cup, we are focussing on Pant,” Prasad told reporters.

Wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson has also been drafted in the T20I squad for the series against Bangladesh. Prasad that Samson has had inconsistent performances in the past, but his outing with the bat in the domestic circuit paid a dividend in terms of his selection.

“Post World Cup, I made it clear we are moving on, we are giving opportunities to the youngsters so that they establish themselves. Samson is being looked at as the back-up wicket-keeper. Samson was inconsistent when he was drafted in India’s squad last time, but he has had a good year and that is why we thought of drafting him in the squad,” Prasad said.

When asked about Dhoni’s future and whether he should play domestic circuit, Prasad replied: “It is totally his personal call. Going into the domestic circuit, talking about his retirement, these are all personal issues related to Dhoni. We have set a roadmap for the future and you can see that in our decisions”.

Sourav Ganguly who was elected as the 39th president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday also had a meeting with the selectors.

Prasad that the former skipper has given his suggestions and the management would keep that in mind.

“I can proudly say that Ganguly had a discussion with us. Rohit and Kohli were also there at the meeting. Ganguly has told us about the observations he has made, we are really thankful to him. We will follow the suggestions,” Prasad said.

Skipper Virat Kohli has been rested for the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh and in place of him, Rohit Sharma will be leading the side.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been recalled into the team. All-rounder Hardik Pandya who was a part of the squad for the series against South Africa, has not been included in the team as he underwent lower-back surgery in London last month.

Pacer Shardul Thakur has also been included in the T20I squad while Navdeep Saini has been included as chief selector MSK Prasad announced that he is unfit.

India’s squad for T20I series against Bangladesh: Rohit Sharma(Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant(wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, Shardul Thakur.

In terms of Tests, India has opted to go for an unchanged squad from the series against South Africa. Spinner Shahbaz Nadeem who was outstanding in the final Test against the Proteas has not managed to find a place in the team.

Nadeem had come in as a replacement for Kuldeep Yadav in the final match of the series against South Africa.

India’s squad for Test series against Bangladesh: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Saha (wk), R Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant.

India is slated to play three T20Is and two Tests against Bangladesh. The first T20I will be played on November 3 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.