India captain Virat Kohli has reportedly told the BCCI selectors that he’ll be resting for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Bangladesh next month. Kohli, though, will play the two Tests that follow the T20Is.
Sanju Samson is likely to come into the side in Kohli’s absence following a fruitful Vijay Hazare Trophy season during which he hit a double-century.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant will continue to be the first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman in limited-overs cricket even though Wriddhiman Saha has made an impressive return to Test cricket pushing his junior to the second spot in red-ball cricket. “The selectors are clear in their mind that Indian cricket needs to move beyond MS Dhoni. In that context, Pant is the future. He deserves to seal his spot in the shorter formats,” a source was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
In the event of Samson making it to India’s playing XI, he will play as a specialist batsman and unlikely to push for the wicketkeeper’s spot as he doesn’t keep gloves in domestic cricket regularly either.
Former India international and chief selector Kiran More has warned against ignoring Pant who he feels is a big asset. “He’s (Pant) talented. He’s kept well, having scalped 53 victims in 11 Tests. He’s young (22). He’s got Test hundreds in England and Australia. He’s a big asset to our team. Wicketkeepers, like opening batsmen, always mature with time. You have to look after him. We shouldn’t ignore him at all,” More, himself a wicketkeeper-batsman during his playing days, said.
Mumbai allrounder Shivam Dube could get maiden India call-up as Hardik Pandya continues recovery from a back surgery he underwent recently in London. Dube scored 177 runs and took five wickets for Mumbai in Vijay Hazare Trophy this season.
Selectors will announce squads for the Bangladesh T20Is and Tests on Thursday in Mumbai.