Veterans Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra were handed fresh lifelines with a recall in India's Twenty20 squad while Punjab left-arm seamer Brainder Sran and Baroda all-rounder Hardik Pandya were the new faces in the squads for upcoming tour to Australia early next year. Lanky paceman Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami were brought back into the ODI team which had no place for Suresh Raina, who was overlooked to test new players. Shami, who has now recovered from his injury, has been named in both the ODI and T20 squads, announced by BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur after a meeting of the selection committee here. Rishi Dhawan and Manish Pandey were also included in the One-day squad. There were a number of players like Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma, Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh, who were omitted from the ODI squad. Off-spinner Harbhajan however kept his place in the T20 squad. The 23-year-old Sran and 22-year-old Pandya were rewarded with a berth in the ODI and T20 squads respectively for their consistent performance in domestic circuit. The squad, to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has expectedly been packed with seamers, keeping in mind the conditions in Australia where India will play five ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals from January 12 to 31. The selectors preferred to give another opportunity to Yuvraj and Nehra, both of who had represented with distinction in the past. "Keeping in mind World T20 lot of players this was chance to pick for World T20 and use it as a platform. Those not selected were all discussed. We have extended the pool," Chairman of the selection committee Sandip Patil told reporters after the meeting. Speaking about Yuvraj and Nehra's comeback, Patil said,"Yuvi is special and captain is happy to have him back. We can't guarantee him place but chance to perform will be given.
Nehra is a consistent performer in T20 format. He will be useful in the team. We will need experienced players in the T20 WC. Australia tour perfect chance to give them a shot.
"Australia tour will give selectors a chance to take a look at other players. Suresh Raina not in the ODIs is a chance to see other players. He is still there in T20 team. In the last three years we have given chance to many youngsters but for World T20 we need experience," Patil said, explaining the decision to include veterans. Patil said the decision to select the final XI will remain with the captain and team management. The team's batting has remained more or less the same with Dhawan, Rohit, Kohli, Rahane comprising the top-order in both the squads. Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel are the two specialist spinners while all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Gurkeerat Singh will provide more variety in the attack in ODI squad. The pace department will be spearheaded by Ishant and will have Shami, Umesh Yadav, Rishi Dhawan and Sran for support. India will open their tour with an ODI at Perth on January 12, followed by matches in Brisbane (Jan 15), Melbourne (Jan 17), Canberra (Jan 20) and Sydney (Jan 23). The T20s will be played at Adelaide (Jan 26), Melbourne (Jan 29) and Sydney (Jan 31). Squads: One-day: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh, Rishi Dhawan and Brainder Sran. Twenty20: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Harbhajan Singh, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ashish Nehra.