Once Sachin Tendulkar announced retirement from the ODI cricket, the selectors had very little work. Their biggest selection headache was out of the way. Sandip Patil & Co would have been in a dilemma whether to pick Tendulkar for the ODIs against Pakistan. But they were saved of that worry as the Little Master announced his exit from limited overs cricket.
The selectors never had any doubt on the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni despite the skipper being under fire of late. They promptly retained him as captain for the ODI and Twenty20 series against the arch-rivals.
The other important decision by the selectors was the recall of Yuvraj Singh into the ODI fold. The southpaw will be playing a 50-50 game for the first time since last year’s World Cup in which he was a standout performer.
Yuvraj, who was recalled to the Twenty20 squad for the World T20 within months of recovering from a rare germ cell cancer, played his last ODI against Sri Lanka in the final of the 50-over World Cup last April. Ajinkya Rahane has benefited from Tendulkar’s retirement.
Out-of-form Zaheer Khan, who was dropped after the first two Tests against England, did not find favour with the selectors. Virender Sehwag, who had opted out of the two T20 matches against England, was called back into the one-day side for the three-match series.
Also returning to the ODI squad will be Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Ashok Dinda. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed will be playing in their debut series.
The core of the squad remains pretty much the same with skipper Dhoni, Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina retaining their places.
The team for the T20 matches against Pakistan was also announced after the selection meeting. The squad is more or less the same with only Abhimanyu Mithun making way for Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma.