Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Siraj drafted in too
M Prasidh Krishna is the brand new face in the Indian ODI squad, which was named on Friday morning for the upcoming three-match series against England. The 18-member squad also includes Suryakumar Yadav, who made a rousing start to his international career with a match-winning half-century in the fourth T20I against England on Thursday, which helped India pull level with one game to go. The ODIs will be played in Pune on March 23, 26 and 28.
The last time India played ODIs, in Australia late last year, the squad had Mayank Agarwal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Manish Pandey, Navdeep Saini and Sanju Samson, all of whom are missing from the line-up this time. Rohit Sharma, who was back in India before linking up with the squad during the Test series in Australia, is back in the frame now, as the designated vice-captain, while Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Siraj have also been drafted in.
Krishna, the 25-year-old quick from Karnataka, has had limited exposure in days’ cricket – just nine first-class games since his debut in 2015 – but has been a prominent name in limited-overs formats for a while, having played 48 List A games (81 wickets at an average of 23.07) and 40 T20s (33 wickets at 35.84 and an economy rate of 8.49). A part of the Kolkata Knight Riders set-up since 2018, Krishna has played 24 games for the franchise in the IPL, returning 18 wickets with an economy rate of 9.33.
There was talk of Krishna being in the national frame, especially for the shortest format, before the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the world, when Virat Kohli had said that the young bowler “could possibly be an X-factor” for India in the run-up to the T20 World Cup, which ended up being postponed. It is scheduled to be played later this year, in October-November, in India.
Of the players missing, Bumrah was granted leave for the last Test against England and the entire white-ball leg of the series because of his marriage, while Shami has been out of action since fracturing his wrist while batting in the first Test in Australia last December. Pandey, too, has been nursing a tennis-elbow condition, which forced him to miss the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s, though he has since played two games for Karnataka in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Overall, the expanded squad includes eight frontline batting options, including designated wicketkeepers Pant and KL Rahul, allrounders Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Washinton Sundar, fast bowlers T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Krishna, and spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.