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India Vs West Indies: Selectors Likely To Include Rishabh Pant As MS Dhoni's Cover In ODI Squad

Since his debut Test hundred at the Oval followed by a stroke-filled 92 in Rajkot, calls for the 20-year-old's inclusion have only grown louder.

India Vs West Indies: Selectors Likely To Include Rishabh Pant As MS Dhoni's Cover In ODI Squad
India Vs West Indies: Selectors Likely To Include Rishabh Pant As MS Dhoni's Cover In ODI Squad
outlookindia.com
2018-10-10T13:24:22+0530

Indian selectors are likely to include Rishabh Pant in the ODI squad for the upcoming series against the visiting West Indies as a cover for underperforming Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

If the 21-year-old flambouyant wicket-keeper gets the nod, then it will be in the place of Dinesh Karthik, who has also failed to impress with the bat in the recent outings.

That's one of the decisions Indian selectors will have to take when they meet at Hyderabad on Thursday to select the squad for the five ODIs against the Windies.

Skipper Virat Kohli's presence may be another key issue even though it's unlikely that he will be inclined to rest for the entire series.

It is still not clear whether the squad will be announced for the first three games or the entire series, which comprises five ODIs and three T20 Internationals and starts on October 21.

However, the primary bone of contention will be whether the selectors and the team management will at least agree on having a cover batsman for Dhoni, whose wicketkeeping remains sharp but batting form has been on the slide.

"We all know that Dhoni will play till the World Cup but there is no harm in grooming Pant, who could be a terrific No.6 or 7 batsman, who has the ability to finish games," a senior BCCI official privy to selection matters told PTI on Wednesday.

Since his debut Test hundred at the Oval followed by a stroke-filled 92 in Rajkot, calls for the 20-year-old's inclusion have only grown louder.

While Dinesh Karthik is already there, his consistency and inability to finish matches at crucial junctures will keep the team management worried.

There are a few other permutations that the selectors might consider.

Kedar Jadhav's dodgy hamstring will rule him out of the limited-overs leg which opens up one potential middle-order batting slot.

Ambati Rayudu, after a good Asia Cup performance, will retain his place even if Kohli decides to play.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are set to come back after a much-needed break during the ongoing Test series.

Ravindra Jadeja is also expected to make it after his lion-hearted show as Axar Patel's replacement.

The axe might just fall on Manish Pandey, who has had a poor run of late since getting a chance against Afghanistan.

(With PTI inputs)

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