The Virat Kohli era has officially begun, as the selectors today named him the captain of India's One Day International and Twenty20 squads for the series against England.
With MS Dhoni stepping down as captain, Kohli's anointment as the captain was just a formality. Dhoni was named in both the squads as well, marking the first time he will play in the Indian blue under Kohli's captaincy.
The biggest takeaways from the announcement was Yuvraj Singh making a comeback to both the ODI and T20I squads, while young Rishabh Pant was rewarded for a fine Ranji Trophy season with a call-up to the T20I squad. The national selection committee under MSK Prasad's chairmanship named Rishabh in the T20 squad giving an indication as to whom they consider Dhoni's successor.
In a bit of a surprise, Ajinkya Rahane has been left out of the T20 squad.
Yuvraj, who is making a comeback nine months after the World T20 last year, was in splendid form during the Ranji Trophy and scored 672 runs in five games at an average of 84 with a highest score of 260 against Baroda before he took a break due to his marriage.
"We should appreciate how Yuvraj has played. He did extremely well in domestic cricket, which has been appreciated," Prasad said.
Nehra, who underwent surgery after sustaining an injury during IPL, makes a comeback to the shortest format as well. His selection indicated the dearth of quality left-arm seamers in the horizon and no one can question Nehra's craft with the white kookaburra.
The 3-match ODI series starts on 15 January, while the 3-match T20I series begins 26 January.
The selection committee meeting had its share of drama and was delayed by three hours on technical grounds before a go ahead from the Lodha panel set the proceedings rolling. Today's meeting was convened by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri after joint Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary stood disqualified owing to the Supreme Court verdict, which sacked the entire BCCI top brass last week.
Here are the teams:
Team for 3 ODIs: Virat (C), MSD (wk), Rahul, Shikhar, Manish, Kedar, Yuvraj, Ajinkya, Pandya, Ashwin, Jadeja, Mishra, Bumrah, Bhuvi, Umesh— BCCI (@BCCI) January 6, 2017
Team for 3 T20Is: Virat (Capt), MSD (wk), Mandeep, Rahul, Yuvraj, Raina, Rishabh, Pandya, Ashwin,Jadeja,Chahal,Manish, Bumrah, Bhuvi, Nehra— BCCI (@BCCI) January 6, 2017
Dhoni, who has not played a competitive match in over two months, will be lead the India A side in the first warm-up match against England.
Ind A team for 1st warm-up tie: Shikhar, Mandeep, Rayudu, Yuvraj, Dhoni (capt), Pandya, Samson, Kuldeep, Chahal, Nehra, Mohit Sharma, S Kaul— BCCI (@BCCI) January 6, 2017
Ind A team for 2nd warm-up tie: R Pant, A Rahane (capt), Raina, Hooda, Kishan, S Jackson, V Shankar, Nadeem, Rasool, V Kumar, Sangwan, Dinda— BCCI (@BCCI) January 6, 2017