Rohit, Shami back in squad for Champions Trophy

Rohit, Shami back in squad for Champions Trophy
The Indian team for the Champions Trophy wore a settled look with the selectors on Monday recalling the fit-again Mohammad Shami and Rohit Sharma for the tournament to be held in England from June 1 to 18.

The selectors opted for an extra batsman over a spinner. Thus, in the 15-member squad, Manish Pandey was squeezed in ahead of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav who made an impressive Test debut against Australia in Dharamsala.

Pandey, who was also in the squad against England, has not featured in an ODI since the New Zealand series in October. Others who missed out are K L Rahul (shoulder injury) and leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who made way for Shami who has been troubled by injuries since the 2015 World Cup.

Shami, who has not played in an ODI since, completes the pack of five seamers picked for English conditions.
The Bengal fast bowler played two one-day matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this year and five matches in the ongoing IPL to make his case for the tournament, where India are the defending champions.

Rohit, who took five months to recover from a thigh injury, returned to action in March and has captained Mumbai Indians in all the 12 matches so far, batting at No 4. However, in the national side, he would open the innings with Shikhar Dhawan. Ajinkya Rahane will serve as “reserve opener”.

Off-spinner R Ashwin, who was nursing a sports hernia, and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja are the two frontline spinners. On the selection of Ashwin, who missed the IPL, chairman of selection committee M S K Prasad said, “It’s not like Ashwin is out of form. He’s had rest, and is not like those players who have had surgery.”

Prasad said that the selection committee also thought about Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Shardul Thakur.

“Each of them are in our standby list for the Champions Trophy. We are looking at sorting visas for them, and they will train at the NCA,” he said.

Prasad, who insisted that the players were picked on their form in domestic cricket and not just the IPL, said Kuldeep “narrowly missed” out due to the presence of Yuvraj Singh and Kedar Jadhav as both can contribute with part-time spin. India begin their tournament against Pakistan on June 4 at Edgbaston.

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