The Indian selectors have given a deserved rest to pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who was the joint-highest wicket-taker during the historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia, for the three ODIs against the hosts. He will be replaced by Mohammed Siraj, while Siddarth Kaul has been drafted into the T20I squad in New Zealand.
The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) announced the changes in the squad a day after skipper Virat Kohli said that he was on the lookout for three more pacers to better manage the workload of the attack that played a crucial role in the team's maiden Test series triumph Down Under.
The attack comprising Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma has been hailed as India's best ever. Not only in Australia, the fast bowlers had done their job even in England and South Africa but batsmen let them down in the two preceding tours.
"It’s important to take care of these guys especially – manage workloads, that's going to be our priority going forward. But even more so, finding three more guys who can bowl as fast as and as relentless as these guys.
"I think the most important thing is to look after these guys because they deserve a good break now. They deserved to be looked after because they are the reason we are sitting here having won in Australia for the first time," said Kohli in his post-match interaction on Monday.
Bumrah bowled 157.1 overs in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series and picked 21 wickets at an average of 17.
And a BCCI release said that "Keeping in mind the workload of the bowler, it was best felt to give him adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia."
Update: Jasprit Bumrah has been rested for the upcoming ODI series against Australia and India's Tour of New Zealand. Mohammed Siraj to replace him. @sidkaul22 added to India's T20I squad. #TeamIndia— BCCI (@BCCI) January 8, 2019
Details: https://t.co/tc4yndy40I pic.twitter.com/92E0hpuF5a
Meanwhile, Siraj picked up seven wickets in his last Ranji Trophy game against Punjab and was in good shape against New Zealand A in New Zealand.
"We already are in the process of identifying (three pacers), and then keep them ready – make them travel with the team, make them understand the importance of Test cricket, what areas to bowl, what the mind-set should be. Because once you create this kind of a culture in the team, you want it to continue," Kohli had said.
He said it is imperative to think about the future teams.
"The effort is all around. Even on the outside, you need to keep scouting people who can take that legacy forward and not just end in a season. So, we are already in the process of identifying how we can extend this legacy and culture for as long as possible, and set up a system so that it continues for many more years to come.
The ODI series starts on January 12 and end on January 18. India will tour New Zealand for five ODIs and three T20Is, before hosting Australia in February and March for a limited overs series ahead of the 2019 World Cup in England.
For Australia ODIs: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
for NZ T20Is: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul.