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Two spots up for grabs in ODIs as Aus series looms

Last updated on: February 12, 2019 20:21 IST
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Rohit Sharma may be rested for T20Is against Australia, selection to be held on Feb 15

Virat, Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Jasprit Bumrah

IMAGE: Virat, Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Jasprit Bumrah. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

The national selection committee is unlikely to try any experiments when they pick the squad for the five-match ODI series and the preceding two-match T20I series against Australia on February 15 in Mumbai.

The five-match ODI series will start in Hyderabad on March 2, followed by matches in Nagpur (March 5), Ranchi (March 8), Mohali (March 10) and Delhi (March 13).


The team for the two T20 International matches will be played in Visakhapatnam (February 24) and Bengaluru (February 27).

It has been learnt that the team management as well as the selection committee are on the same page and the squad that will play against Australia is likely to be the same that will be travelling to UK for the World Cup.

The selectors may pick 16 members for the ODIs instead of 15 in order to check all the players in contention for the World Cup.

"There is a possibility that Rohit Sharma may be rested for the two T20 Internationals as Virat Kohli will be back. But when it comes to selecting the ODI squad, there won't be any experiments with only five matches to go," a senior BCCI official privy to selection process told PTI on Tuesday.

This series will be last before the 2019 World Cup that commences in England on May 30.

Asked about the much talked about workload management programme, the official said: "Most of our ODI boys will be getting a good two-and-a-half weeks of rest. Well, the pacers can be rotated during the five matches but no one will be kept out of the squad and rested. Workload management will be required more during the IPL.

"As of now, there are only two spots that are up for grabs -- the battle is for second wicket-keeper that will be fought between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant, and the third opener's slot. The team management at least won't experiment during the first three games," he informed.

Shikhar Dhawan may be rested for the final two ODIs and just check if KL Rahul has found his form back in order to keep him ready for the mega event.

"However, it won't be a case of any surprise selection as of now. It will just be a case of who plays on the day. Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar and Shami are all fit and available.  Along with Khaleel, these four will be rotated to check the combination, more than the workload management," the official said.

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