Rohit Sharma will miss the first ODI of the three-match series against Australia because of family commitments. In his absence, vice-captain Hardik Pandya will lead the side in Mumbai on March 17. This will be the first time Hardik will captain India in ODIs.
There were no changes to the red-ball squad for the last two Tests of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, where India have retained the trophy after taking a 2-0 lead. However, the selection committee, currently without a chairman after Chetan Sharma’s resignation, did not name a vice-captain; KL Rahul was Rohit’s deputy for the first two Tests but there have been concerns over his form. In his last five Tests, Rahul has 117 runs at an average of 13, with a best of 23.
Jaydev Unadkat, who was released ahead of the second Test for the Ranji Trophy final, is back in the squad. Earlier in the day, Unadkat led Saurashtra to their second Ranji title in three seasons. There was more good news for him: he found a place in India’s ODI side as well. He will be competing with Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik and Shardul Thakur for a slot in the playing XI.
Unadkat played the last of his seven ODIs back in 2013 but he has been on the selectors’ radar for quite some time now. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the selectors were impressed by his performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy recently, where he was the highest wicket-taker with 19 scalps from ten games, and helped Saurashtra win the title.
Ravindra Jadeja, who made a dream comeback to Test cricket after a five-month layoff following a knee surgery, also returned to the ODI fold. So did Shreyas Iyer, after missing the ODIs against New Zealand and the first Test against Australia with a back injury. That meant there was no place for Shahbaz Ahmed and Rajat Patidar who were part of the ODI squad for the New Zealand series.
Jasprit Bumrah continued to miss out as he recovers from his back injury.
India’s Test squad for third and fourth Tests against Australia: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat
India’s squad for ODIs against Australia: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Jaydev Unadkat
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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