MSK Prasad backs young Rishabh Pant for all three formats

Tanya Simon
July 21, 2019

The BCCI, headed by MSK Prasad along with Virat Kohli met in Mumbai to pick the squads.

Dhoni's absence means that Rishabh Pant should take over as number one wicketkeeper for the the West Indies.

MS Dhoni's worldwide future remains shrouded in doubt after Chairman of Selectors MSK Prasad hinted that while he was part of the "plans" till the World Cup, the panel was keen to give Rishabh Pant "as many opportunities" as possible going forward.

With Dhoni pulling out of the tour, Rishabh Pant is expected to be first wicketkeeper in all three formats while Wriddhiman Saha will be Pant's understudy in the Tests. Rohit Sharma has been brought back in the Test squad while Jasprit Bumrah has been rested from the limited-overs series along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

India will play three T20s, three ODIs and two tests in the Caribbean and the tour will provide the opportunity for the selectors to also test the fringe players while resting some who play all three formats for the team.

"Dhoni has made himself unavailable for the tour of West Indies as he will be spending two months with his paramilitary regiment", the official told PTI.

A top BCCI official confirmed that the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Territorial Army will spend the next two months with his regiment. Wriddhiman Saha will rejoin the Test side after a gap of more than a year.

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India will be putting more focus on T20 cricket in the coming series ahead of the World T20 next year in Australia.

As the selectors revealed, MS Dhoni is on leave and just like ODIs, he is also not a part of T20I squad as well.

MS Dhoni is still fit to continue and if the Indian team wants the best out of him, the selectors should think of managing his workload properly, feels the former India captain's childhood coach Keshav Banerjee.

"Dhoni still has cricket left in him".

It appeared to be the end of the road for Dinesh Karthik in the India side with Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer included to stake their claims for the middle-order batting slots.

Prasad also said that they had discussed young Andhra keeper KS Bharat and that he was very close to getting selected, but then had to go as per the unwritten rule which favours the inclusion of a senior cricketer when he gets a comeback opportunity after being injured. I don't know what BCCI will do.

"He (Dhoni) is unavailable for the series".

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