After their disappointing exit from the Cricket World Cup, India now get set for their next assignment and it is a full-fledged month-long tour of the West Indies. Starting in August, India will play three T20Is, as many ODIs and two Tests besides a three-day game. At the moment, speculation is rife on who would make it to the squad in the wake of the World Cup debacle.
The most interesting part of the team selection for the tour is whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni will continue to play. It was expected that the 38-year-old would call it a day soon after India lost to New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final on July 10. But the veteran hasn’t revealed his plans yet, leaving even the BCCI officials perplexed.
The Indian selectors will meet to pick the squad for the Windies tour on July 19 and since the limited-overs series is scheduled before the Tests, the Dhoni question will have to be answered soon enough. Although sources close to the BCCI recently indicated that the former India captain will not be an automatic choice again and is less likely to board the Caribbeans-bound flight but yet there is no finality on that issue.
The first two T20Is will be played at Lauderhill in Florida, United States, and the first match is scheduled on August 3.
“The selectors will meet in Mumbai on July 19. We have not heard from Dhoni but what is relevant is the communication between the player and selectors. If you ask me, Dhoni did well in the World Cup but he is his own man. Only he can decide whether he wants to carry on or not,” India Today cited reports quoting a BCCI official as saying following after the Committee of Administrators’ meeting in New Delhi.
The Indian squad is likely to miss captain Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah for the limited-over series and will return for the Tests starting August 22. The two Test-series will be a part of the inaugural Test Championship. There are also contradictory reports that Kohli might as well play the full tour after a disappointing conclusion to the World Cup campaign.
Shikhar Dhawan uncertain too
The other cricketer who is yet not a definite choice is Shikhar Dhawan. The dashing opener had fractured his thumb while batting during the World Cup match against Australia at the Oval last month and was ruled out after some monitoring.
The issue of players picking and choosing games also came up at the meeting which was also joined by CEO Rahul Johri from London through video conferencing.
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