New Delhi: There were not many surprises as MSK Prasad-led three-member selection panel on Monday announced Virat Kohli-led Indian side for the Champions Trophy to be held in England from June 1.
India, who won the 2013 edition of the tournament under MS Dhoni, will open their campaign against arch-rival Pakistan on June 4.
While Mohammed Shami, who has recovered from injury, made a comeback to the side, there was no place for the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Amit Mishra in the 15-man squad as selectors decided to pick only two specialist spinners in the form of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Talking about the selection of R Ashwin, who has not played for India in limited-overs cricket following the three-match ODI series against England, MSK Prasad said: "Ashwin's selection was not a difficult decision. He's had rest, isn't out of form. We've been preparing him for Champions Trophy 2017."
Shikhar Dhawan, who was India’s highest run-getter in the previous edition of the tournament, was recalled to the side while Gautam Gambhir, who is having a fine IPL2017, was not picked in the side.
While Kedar Jadhav can keep wickets, MS Dhoni remains the only specialist wicketkeeper in the 15-man Indian side.
"We all believe MS Dhoni is best 'keeper-batsman in the world. He's a tremendous support to Virat Kohli," said the chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, during the media interaction.
“He is the right man to groom Virat. People forget that in the last 10-12 years, MSD has never had a bad day behind the stumps. His position in the batting order will depend on what the team needs, we will leave that to the team management,” added Prasad.
While Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav could not make it to the 15-man squad, the duo along with Dinesh Karthik, Shardul Thakur, and Suresh Raina are part of the standby list.
“We discussed Kuldeep Yadav who would have been a solid player. He narrowly missed out," said Prasad.
“Pant, Kuldeep, DK, Shardul Thakur, Suresh Raina were also discussed. Visas will be applied. They will be on standby,” concluded Prasad.
Here's the 15-man Indian squad for Champions Trophy 2017: