India’s star batsman Virat Kohli was today handed the reigns of India's ODI and T20 International cricket sides after 35-year-old Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down as the limited overs side captain earlier this week.
The announcement came after the BCCI Senior Selection Committee headed by former wicketkeeper MSK Prasad met here to discuss the teams for the upcoming three ODIs and as many T20Is against England.
Dhoni was, however, picked as a wicketkeeper-batsman in the limited overs format.
The five-member Selectors panel have given chance to all-rounder Yuvraj Singh in both the formats. He is making comeback after a gap of nine months.
The veteran southpaw's 672 runs in five Ranji Trophy games for Punjab this season was the reason cited by Prasad for his return to the limited overs squad.
"Yuvraj has performed well at the domestic level and we must appreciate that. You should appreciate the way Yuvraj has played in domestic cricket. He's got 180 on a green-top Lahli wicket," Prasad told reporters while announcing the team.
Uncapped Delhi and India Under-19 wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who scored 972 runs in the ongoing Ranji Trophy at a strike-rate of 107.28, with four centuries, was the lone new face in the T20 squad.
Middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane also returned to the ODI outfit from a fractured finger but surprisingly found himself out of the T20 team.
From India's previous ODI squad, Amit Mishra, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah were retained.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya returned after recovering from injury sustained while part of the Test team in November.
Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is back for both ODIs and T20s, while veteran Delhi seamer Ashish Nehra is back in the T20 squad having not played since the World Twenty20 last year.
Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan was also recalled to the ODI team after being out due to injuries by the BCCI selection panel.
All-rounders Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who were rested for the New Zealand ODIs, are also back in the squad. The duo played in the five Tests against England.
Despite the huge workload on both Ashwin and Jadeja in the longest version of the game, and the four-match Test series against Australia to follow, the selectors were forced to include the duo in both the squads following injuries to spin-bowling all-rounders Axar Patel (thumb) and Jayant Yadav (hamstring).
Veteran left-hander Suresh Raina, who was ignored for the England ODIs, found himself in the T20 squad. The southpaw last played for India during the World T20.
Commenting on the composition of the squads, Prasad said: "We have selected the best possible team which can give us the best possible result."
"After speaking to Kohli, we think this is the best possible team against England in ODIs and T20I," he added.
On Dhoni's sudden call to quit as captain of the side, the former India stumper said: "On the last day of Ranji Trophy semis (Jharkhand vs Gujarat) in Nagpur, Dhoni informed BCCI that he plans to step down as captain and wants to move on."
Haryana leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been recalled too, having played all three ODIs and T20Is on the tour of Zimbabwe under Dhoni last summer. Chahal's 33 wickets in seven matches helped Haryana qualify for the Ranji quarter-finals this season.
This was the first meeting of selectors to pick squads for both the formats after Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his decision to step down from captaincy.
ODIs: Virat Kohli (C), MS Dhoni (wk), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Yuvraj SIngh, Ajinkya Rahane, H Pandya, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, A Mishra, J Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav
T20s: Virat (Capt), MSD (wk), Mandeep Singh, KL Rahul, Yuvraj Singh, S Raina, Rishabh Pant, H Pandya, R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Chahal, Manish pandey, J Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, A Nehra
The three ODIs will be played on Jan 15 (Pune), Jan 19 (Cuttack) and Jan 22 (Kolkata).
The three T20s will played on Jan 26 (Kanpur), Jan 29 (Nagpur) and Feb 1 (Bengaluru).