INDvsWI: Kohli back, Pant picked up for first 2 ODIs

Mayank Agarwal BCCI

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant's inclusion in India's 14-man squad announced by the BCCI on Thursday for the first two ODIs against West Indies nearly spells doom for the underperforming senior pro Dinesh Karthik.

Senior pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were given an extended rest. "I have been telling this for a quite some time that we are just 18 ODIs away from now before we play first game of the World Cup and so we need to figure out our fast bowlers and so we have picked Shami", said Prasad.

India will have to wait for the return of Hardik Pandya, who suffered a lower back injury during the Asia Cup in the UAE and had to be stretchered out.

The boost from the Nidahas Cup heroics (in Sri Lanka) has run its course for Dinesh Karthik as Rishabh Pant was named in the squad.

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Wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant will be in line to make his ODI debut after he was picked in the 14-man squad for the first two matches against West Indies. Pant had hit a scintillating 114 off 146 balls in the final Test match against England at The Oval in September and smashed an 84-ball 92 in the first Test against West Indies at Rajkot. Khaleel Ahmed after a promising show in the Asia Cup finds a place in the squad. However, 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik, who failed to capitalise his opportunity in the Asia Cup, misses out.

"Mohammed Shami has been included precisely for that reason". Rishabh Pant, with impressive performances for India in recent Test matches, received his maiden ODI call-up.

The chief selector also said Virat Kohli, who was rested for the Asia Cup, will play the entire series. Karthik got several starts in the tournament but could not convert them into bigger scores when India lacked solidity in the middle order. "And we can take a call at appropriate time about who is the best among the two". The first game will be played in Guwahati on October 21.

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