Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Holders India finally name Champions Trophy squad

Holders India finally name Champions Trophy squad

Pacer Mohammad Shami was recalled to national duty after nearly two years for the Champions Trophy while fit-again Rohit Sharma was also included in the team here on Monday.

Shami last played for India in an ODI, back in 2015 World Cup and it will be a fresh start in the 50-over cricket. With Rahane and Manish Pandey certain to be on the bench at least for India's opening game of the tournament, the need for an extra batsman in the squad is unclear. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni assured of a place in the playing XI, it would always have been hard for Pant to make it to the final eleven, let alone the squad.

They play their first match against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4. The 27-year-old has performed exceptionally in the ongoing IPL season which as a result helped him get a call for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Stand-bys: Rishabh Pant, Suresh Raina, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Dinesh Karthik.

On including Ashwin without testing him in a match situation, Prasad said the Chennai tweaker's injury was not serious and he merely required some rest.

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Prasad was full of praise when it came to Dhoni's wicket-keeping skills and termed him as the best wicket-keeper in the world.

The team will expect the captain Virat Kohli to get back to his lost form quickly, after not being able to make it count in the IPL this year. There should be inquiry into the selection process by the Supreme Court of India, because if this continues, all talented players will lose trust in the selection process.

"I think we have a very good pace attack for the Champions Trophy".

Off-spinner Ashwin returned to the side after skipping the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) with a hernia and Prasad said it was more tactical than anything else. Chahal had made a strong case to be included in the CT squad with a 6-wicket haul against England in the 3rd T20I at Chinnaswamy earlier this year. "How many of us still believe that MSD is still the best wicketkeeper in the world? Because of the quality of Kuldeep, we have considered him and not because of the form of Ashwin".

"Wins in the remaining matches will lift the spirit of the team though we have already missed the cut for the play-offs", he said. Chief selector MSK Prasad said he was "completely impressed" by Pant's performances for the Delhi Daredevils but he needs to wait for his turn. But he missed out because of squad combination. "He is definitely a solution for our future", he said.

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