Indian squad for West Indies tour announced

Ross Houston
July 21, 2019

Yesterday, Dhoni informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he will not be part of the West Indies tour due to prior commitments with his paramilitary regiment that he intends to serve for two months. Dhoni had made himself unavailable for the tour as he chose to take a two-month break and serve his army regiment.

Dhoni's glovework, however, still remains top class and questions have been raised by former cricketers, pundits and local media if it was the right time for him to step away and help India groom his successor. "A legend like MS Dhoni knows when to retire". Instead of touring West Indies, MS Dhoni chose to serve his paramilitary regiment for a couple of months.

"We have now intimated his decision to skipper Virat Kohli and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad", the official told PTI.

India will start their West Indies tour from August 3 and will play three T20s, as many ODIs and two Test matches. The Virat Kohli-side were eliminated from the showpiece event after going down against New Zealand in the semi-finals. "Secondly, we are grooming youngsters now", Prasad said.

It appeared to be the end of the road for Dinesh Karthik in the India side with Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer included to stake their claims for the middle-order batting slots.

With Dhoni's ever-declining hitting abilities, can he come in at Nos 6 or 7 where he might, at best, get 6 to 8 balls in most games and even less in some?

India will be playing a lot of bilateral three-match T20 series in run-up to the global meet and with Dhoni expected to play one more season of IPL with Chennai Super Kings, things are a bit tricky at the moment.

India's squad for Tests: Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (VC), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, C Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (WK) Wriddhiman Saha (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav.

Hardik Pandya and Bumrah have been rested as a part of workload management programme.

All-rounder Vijay Shankar, who was initially given the nod, left the World Cup through injury while KL Rahul had to move up to open the innings when Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out with a fractured thumb. "That is our plan right now and we did discuss this with him (Dhoni)", said Prasad.

Virat Kohli will be leading the T20I squad for the series against West Indies next month as he will be leading Men in Blue in the three-match series against the hosts.

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