Uncapped Arvind, Gurkeerat get call-up

Uncapped Arvind, Gurkeerat get call-up

Selectors pick squad with an eye on next year's World T20

Uncapped Arvind, Gurkeerat get call-up

 In tune with their effort to get a settled combination ready for the forthcoming World T20, which India will host in April-May next, the national selectors handed out two berths to uncapped players for the T20I and ODI series against visiting South Africa here on Sunday.

The Sandeep Patil-led Senior National selection panel held a meeting where they picked the squads for three T20Is and the first three of the five ODIs, beginning October 2. In a meeting, also attended by T20 and one-day skipper MS Dhoni and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Karnataka’s left-arm seamer S Arvind were picked in the ODI and T20I squads respectively.

The squads also had a generous presence of all-rounders which, Patil said, was in accordance with the “need of the hour.” While Gurkeerat joins Stuart Binny and Axar Patel to form the all-round brigade in ODIs, the latter two have also made cut for the T20Is.    

“At the moment, the selectors have picked Gurkeerat Singh looking at him as an all-round entity,” said Patil. “We certainly want to develop not just one but if possible more of them. Looking at the need of the hour, you need more all-rounders and Gurkeerat has come up really well. The last two-three years, we have seen him do well for India ‘A’ and also for Punjab and we are happy that he has made cut in the Indian team,” he explained.

Gurkeerat played a crucial role in the ‘A’ tri-series final against Australia, picking up 2/42 and knocking off an unbeaten 87 to fashion India’s win. The Punjab player underlined his growing reputation by following up his 65 with a five-for (5/29) against Bangladesh ‘A’ in the first one-dayer here last week that earned him the selectors’ nod.

Amit Mishra, who did well in Sri Lanka, has been rewarded with places in both sides while veteran Harbhajan Singh was included for T20s.

While there were no express fast bowlers in T20Is, Umesh Yadav was included for ODIs and Patil said the pacers were picked keeping in mind the conditions. 

“We have discussed this issue (express fast bowlers) with the captain (MS Dhoni),” Patil noted.

It maybe recalled that Dhoni had expressed his displeasure over the performance of his tearways like Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav during their 1-2 series loss in June.

“Looking at the wickets and looking at the conditions -- last time as well when we toured Sri Lanka (Test series) and before that Zimbabwe (ODIs, T20Is) -- we pick teams accordingly. We always consider the pitch factor and accordingly we go ahead. It’s not that we have lost faith in other bowlers but looking at this particular series and the kind of pitches we are going to have, we have picked these best possible combinations,” he elaborated.

The names that were also discussed were Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. Regarding Shami, the chief of selectors said: “He is still undergoing rehab. He is joining the (preparatory) camp tomorrow here and we will take a call from there. Mr Roger Binny, from selectors’ side, will be at the camp right through. The selection committee has been in touch with team physio Patrick (Farhat), and we hope he recovers fast.”

ODI squad (first three matches): MS Dhoni (captain and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Singh, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

T20I squad: MS Dhoni (captain and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Stuart Binny, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, S Arvind.

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