Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant could garner the maximum attention when the selectors sit down to select the squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh. India will host Bangladesh next month for the T20Is as well as two Tests. And if reports are to be believed then captain Kohli is set to get some much-needed rest from the game.
Kohli has non-stop cricket this year. Barring the T20Is and the last two ODIs in New Zealand, Kohli has not missed a single game the team has played this year across formats. In fact, he has featured in 48 out of the 56 games India have played across formats since October 2018. Thus one cannot deny that Kohli deserves a rest.
However, a report in Hindustan Times suggests that the selection committee will leave it on Kohli to decide whether he needs a break or continue playing. Sanju Samson’s name is also likely to be discussed during the team selection. With Pant failing to impress in recent times, there have been calls to try out Samson. The Kerala star recently impressed by scoring a double hundred in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. But even if he gets selected, he is likely to be a backup wicketkeeper for Pant.
“There is no harm if both Rishabh and Sanju are there in the team. They have played together in IPL also. Rishabh has had limited success in shorter formats but he is a long-term investment and we need to persist with him,” a BCCI official privy to developments in selection committee was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
“At the same time, Sanju is a player with game-changing abilities. Keeping World T20 in mind, the team management needs to check other options also as everyone knows that it’s time to look beyond Mahendra Singh Dhoni,” the source added.
Other players in contention
Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube is also set to garner some attention from the selectors. The report suggests that Dube is now considered above Vijay Shankar in the pecking order for the second-choice allrounder. With Hardik Pandya sidelined due to injury, Dube could very well earn his maiden call-up from Team India selectors.
“Everyone agrees that Shivam’s bowling is still not international standard and nowhere near the kind of pace and variety Hardik possesses. But he is a left-hander, which is an advantage and can hit big sixes. Even Kohli has seen him a bit in IPL while playing for RCB,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will once again get the snub for another T20I series. The team is likely to persist with newcomer Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar. KL Rahul, after his good show in VHT, is likely to retain his place in the side. Shikhar Dhawan is also looking set to be in squad despite his poor displays in recent times.
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