Ashish Nehra and Dinesh Karthik have found places in the 15-man Indian T20 side for the three-match series against Australia, the BCCI has announced on Sunday. Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who missed the ODI series against Australia to attend to his unwell wife, has also made a comeback to the side.
Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, who played every game during India's bilateral T20I series against England earlier this year, was not a part of the one-off T20I match against the Windies in July and the Sri Lankan one-off T20I last month. Nehra’s long-break was triggered by groin and hamstring injuries he suffered after the England series. The 38-year-old’s return to the fold means Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami continue to be left out of the shortest format of the game.
On the other hand, Karthik donned the national colours in the T20I match against Windies in July. MS Dhoni has been named as the designated wicketkeeper, and as a result, Karthik will have to play as a proper batsman for the team. However, Ajinkya Rahane, who made four half-centuries in the ODI series, has had to face the selector’s axe to accommodate Dhawan.
Hardik Pandya, who was awarded the player of the series award in India’s four-match ODI series win against Australia, is the only all-rounder in the side and will complement the pace attack that has the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Nehra. Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel make up the spin-bowling department.
The Virat Kohli-led team will take on Australia in three matches, the first of which is scheduled to be played in Ranchi on October 7. Guwahati and Hyderabad will host the remaining two encounters on October 10 and 13 respectively.
Squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Axar Patel.