India have announced their squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy to be played in England next month. Virat Kohli will lead a strong 15-man contingent for the eight-team, event starting on the 1st of June, with his side set to play their opening game against Pakistan on the 4th of June in Birmingham.
Shikhar Dhawan finds a place in the squad, along with Rohit Sharma, who has been included in the Indian setup after a gap of 6 months. His last game in India colours came against New Zealand in October. Ajnikya Rahane, who could serve as the third opener, also finds a berth.
The middle-order will see Kohli joined by Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, who will play his first major even as non-captain in 10 years, Kedar Jadhav, who impressed one-and-all with his batting in the home series against England also gets a place in the team as does Manish Pandey, who has not yet fully lived up to his billing as an able middle-order batsman in India colours.
The selectors have also decided to go in with four front fast bowlers in the form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Shami, who like Rohit is coming after a long injury layoff. Hardik Pandya will serve as the bowling all-rounder in this squad.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin will lead the spin department. No third spinner has been picked in the squad, so perhaps Jadhav will bowl a few overs with the ball.
Much was spoken, prior to the meeting about the possible inclusion of Rishabh Pant, who has been impressive in the IPL, Kuldeep Yadav, who had an excellent Test debut in March, but neither find a place. Gautam Gambhir, who has had a good IPL so far, also does not find a name in the squad. Suresh Raina, who featured in the last Champions Trophy team also does not get a berth in the squad.
According to reports in NDTV, Dinesh Karthik, Raina, Shardul Thakur, Pant, Kuldeep and Yuzvendra Chahal are the players who have been kept on stand-by.
Squad: Virat Kohli(C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami. Agencies