A fit-again Jasprit Bumrah will headline India’s pace attack in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka (T20) and Australia (ODIs) in January next year while vice-captain Rohit Sharma was on Monday rested from the series versus the islanders.
India will take on Sri Lanka in three T20 Internationals from January 5, followed by three ODIs against Australia from January 14.
However, it was bad news for the fast-rising Deepak Chahar, who has aggravated his back injury and will be out till the start of next year’s IPL. is injury means that Navdeep Saini will continue to be in the squad.
“Against Australia, we have all three openers available –Shikhar, Rohit and KL Rahul,” Prasad said.
Rohit has appeared in 47 matches across formats this year, three more than even skipper Virat Kohli and a break was long on the cards.
While talented opener Prithvi Shaw, back in the mix after serving an eight-month doping ban, will be going to New Zealand with India A, there is still some time before Hardik Pandya recovers from his back surgery.
“(As for) Hardik, we will have a look at him in the third week of January,” Prasad said, indicating that the all-rounder could only be available in the second half of New Zealand tour.
The tour comprising, five T20 Internationals, three ODIs and two Test matches, gets underway from January 24.
Prasad, however, was tight-lipped when asked if Mahendra Singh Dhoni would be available for selection anytime soon.
“I can’t comment on that. Mahi has to first play to be available for selection,” said Prasad.
Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is nursing a sports hernia and Chahar is out till April, but Prasad said there is no cause of concern.
“Deepak was doing well as he played the Vijay Hazare Trophy and suddenly he aggravated his back in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam,” he said.
Asked who will be the swing bowler, Prasad said the selectors are banking on Shardul Thakur, who can swing the ball at a decent pace. He made a crucial six-ball 17 in the third ODI against the West Indies in India’s series-clinching four-wicket win on Sunday.
“We have created enough back up and we have a good talent pool of fast bowlers. We also have Khaleel (Ahmed), who is playing Ranji Trophy and Navdeep (Saini) will replace Shami in T20s,” he added.
India Squad (T20Is against Sri Lanka): Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson.
India Squad (ODI vs Australia): Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah.