India will tour Australia under the captaincy of M.S. Dhoni and the selectors have left no room for media speculation about the leader of the team, saving thousands of hours of effort for sports writers across the country.
The squad was named by the BCCI for both One-Day international and Twenty20 series Down Under and Dhoni will remain the captain of limited overs’ captain at least until next year’s World T20.
With Pakistan series relegated to history, all eyes are on Australia tour with the 34-year-old leading the team after relinquishing World Cup title to Australia close after the first-ever series defeat to Bangladesh few months before.
What followed was equally disastrous even on home front with India losing both T20 and ODI series to South Africa in October this year. Despite apprehensions over Dhoni’s captaincy, the Board of Control for Cricket in India reaffirmed the commitment to Dhoni until the World T20 series to be held in India from March to April, 2016.
“We named Dhoni as the captain as we wanted to end the speculations in the media,” said Sandeep Patil, chairman of
selectors of BCCI. It may be recalled that Dhoni relinquished the Test captaincy a year ago during his Australia tour.
The Australia team has seen not major changes but certainly some heads have rolled down as batsman Suresh Raina
was omitted from the ODI squad, although he is in the T20 squad. Another star attraction in the T20 team is all- rounder Yuvraj Singh, who has returned to the international fold for the first time since the 2014 World T20 disaster. Even pace bowler Ashis Nehra returned after his last performance in 2011.
Yuvraj Singh will always remain special, as Sandeep Patil said, revealing that captain himself wanted him back. “The selectors are very happy, and the captain is also very happy to have him back. We cannot promise any player whether he will be part of the next tour or the World Cup. We want every player to perform and every player has a chance to come back in the team.”
ODI Squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (Captain), (Wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav,
Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Rishi Dhawan, Brainder Balbirsingh Sran.
T20I Squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (Captain),
(Wicketkeeper), Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Harbhajan Singh, Umesh Yadav,
Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra.
India schedule in Australia
ODI series (all matches begin at 10:20 p.m. EST)
1st ODI: Jan. 11 at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth.
2nd ODI: Jan. 14 at the Brisbane Cricket Ground.
3rd ODI: Jan. 16 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
4th ODI: Jan. 19 at the Manuka Oval, Canberra.
5th ODI: Jan. 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
1st T20I: Jan. 26 at the Adelaide Oval (2:38 a.m. EST).
2nd T20I: Jan. 29 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (3:38 a.m. EST).
3rd T20I: Jan. 31 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (3:38 a.m. EST).