New Delhi : Left-arm spinner Akshar Patel on Tuesday was named in the Indian squad for the remaining two ODIs against the West Indies and was also picked in the 14-strong team announced for the one-off T20 against the Caribbean team.
The selectors did not make any changes to the ODI squad apart from adding Patel and retained pacer Ishant Sharma, who was brought in to replace the injured Mohit Sharma.
India and the West Indies are currently locked 1-1 in the ODIs after the third match in Visakhapatnam was cancelled due to cyclone ‘Hudhud’.
In the T20 side, the selectors rewarded Manish Pandey for his decent performance in the IPL, in which he scored 401 runs in 16 matches this season at an average of 30.84 for Kolkata Knight Riders. His strike rate was an impressive 117.94 during the IPL.
He started his career as an equally talented U-19 cricketer like his illustrious peer Virat Kohli but Manish Pandey believes his former India colts colleague ‘fully deserved to play for the country” ahead of him.
Six years since their U-19 World Cup win in Kuala Lumpur, Kohli has established himself with 29 Tests, 140 ODIs and 28 T20 Internationals in his kitty but the 25-year-old Pandey feels that he will do everything to make it a memorable international career for himself.
“Virat evolved beautifully since that U-19 World Cup in 2008. He grew as a cricketer and he deserved to play for India much earlier than anyone else. He was completely ready to play for India at that time. Having said that, I don’t think it’s fair to draw a comparison between myself and Virat,” said Pandey.
Patel, on the other hand, was in good form with the ball while turning up for Kings XI Punjab this season. He took 17 wickets in 17 games at a fine average of 23.82. Pandey and Patel replaced Dhawal Kulkarni and Ambati Rayudu in the Twenty20 side, which was last seen in action during the tour of England. The Twenty20 match between the two sides is scheduled on October 22 in Cuttack. The Board also announced the Board President’s Squad for a three-day practice game against the West Indies to be played in Kanpur from October 25.
Suresh Raina will lead the 14-member side, which also features batsman Rohit Sharma and Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Parveez Rasool. The 25-year-old Rasool made his India debut with an ODI against Bangladesh earlier this year.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, M Vijay, Kuldeep Yadav, Akshar Patel.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Karn Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Umesh Yadav.
Board President’s Squad:
Suresh Raina (c), Jiwanjot Singh, K L Rahul, Naman Ojha, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Karun Nair, Parveez Rasool, Pankaj Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Jasprit Bumrah, Karn Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav.