New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni was on Friday dropped from India's T20 squad for the home series against the West Indies and the crucial away assignment against Australia, signalling a possible end to his run in the shortest format.
In the other major decision, skipper Virat Kohli was rested from the T20 series against the West Indies and Rohit Sharma named the stand-in captain of the side after a late-evening meeting of the selection committee led by MSK Prasad in Pune.
The committee said Dhoni, the 2007 World T20-winning skipper, has been "rested" and India are now looking to fill in the second wicket-keeper's slot.
But when asked if Dhoni's career in T20s is over, Prasad said, "Not yet".
"We want to try out other keepers for the second keeper's slot," said Prasad.
The two wicket-keepers in the two T20 squads announced Friday are Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. The three T20s against Australia will get under way from November 21, followed by a four-Test series and three ODIs.
With Dhoni playing only seven T20 internationals this year and India's next ODI assignment only in January against Australia, the former captain won't be getting any domestic matches with both Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy tournaments already over.
Dhoni, 37, despite being a sharp planner and a safe and agile hand behind the stumps, has been struggling to finish matches with the bat, something that came naturally to him at his peak and made him a modern legend.
The decision to "rest" Dhoni might just be the first sign of selectors trying to phase out the maverick former captain in at least one format. A veteran of 93 international T20 matches, Dhoni has 1,487 runs in the format at a strike rate of 127.09.
The only T20 internationals left in the next six months is a three-game series against New Zealand, which is scheduled in February.
In some of the other decisions, Murali Vijay has been brought back in the Test squad for Australia along with Ishant Sharma, who is fit again.
"Vijay went back and performed and, considering the intensity of the series, we have brought him back," Prasad said.
Rohit Sharma has been included as an additional batsman in the Test squad and he makes a comeback after being dropped for indifferent form in South Africa.
"With regards to Rohit, he is a good back-foot player and his game is much suited in Australia," said Prasad.
Another significant comeback in the Test side is Parthiv Patel as the second wicket-keeper alongside Pant.
"Parthiv was not picked for Afghanistan Test and subsequent England series. He played the Duleep Trophy and whatever matches that happened, he batted well. It's an intensive series [in Australia] and we have called him back," reasoned the chairman.
In the limited-overs set-up, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem received his maiden call-up for the T20s against West Indies.
Batsman Kedar Jadhav, whose omission from ODIs came under the scanner, has been brought back for the fourth and fifth ODI.
The BCCI has also selected Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Parthiv Patel and Prithvi Shaw for the India A tour of New Zealand.
For three T20I match series against West Indies: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem.
For four-match Test series against Australia: Virat Kohli (captain), M. Vijay, K.L. Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Parthiv Patel, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ishant, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
For three-match T20 series against Australia: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, K.L. Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Khaleel Ahmed.
India A team for first four-day game against New Zealand A: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), M. Vijay, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), K. Gowtham, Shahbaz Nadeem, Md Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, R. Gurbani, Vijay Shankar and K.S. Bharath....