Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik and Ashish Nehra will step-in as the in-form Ajinkya Rahane makes way to the bench.
The BCCI on Sunday announced the 15-man squad for the 3 T20Is against Australia. The Indian board made the announcement soon after the Men in Blue registered an easy seven-wicket win in the 5th ODI in Nagpur. Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik and Ashish Nehra will step-in as the in-form Ajinkya Rahane makes way to the bench.
Rahane handled the responsibility of providing good starts on the top. He justified his role replacing the left-handed Shikhar Dhawan. Meanwhile his performances in the just concluded series was remarkable with 4 back-to-back half centuries. Rahane made the most of his opportunity with scores of 5, 55, 70, 53, 61. Earlier, the stylish right-hander was adjudged Man of the Series on the West Indies tour.
Rahane expressed his disappointment upon missing the T20 Series.
Commenting on his exclusion from India’s T20 squad, the Mumbai batsman said he respects the selectors’ decision. “Yes, so much cricket we play, the team management, selectors take a decision and we respect it. Speaking about the competition, it is necessary and it helps you to give your best performance. Whoever gets a chance does well for the team. I have always enjoyed the competition,” Rahane told reporters in Mumbai.
Rahane as cool and composed he is shares his eagerness to convert his starts into long innings.
“I could have converted the fifties into hundreds. It was in my mind to contribute, I shared three 100-run stands with Rohit (Sharma) and our aim was to give a good start to the team. In the future series if I get a chance I will convert the 50s into 100s,”.
In the final ODI against Australia, Rahane and Rohit Sharma stitched together a 124-run stand for the first wicket, also their third century stand in a row. Both the batsmen played textbook cricketing shorts and their good form put Australia under pressure right from ball one.
The selection committee’s decision to exclude Rahane from the t20 side is probably in question now. The 29-year old batsman has proved himself time and again. Following a dream run of a form and his skill to play with a straight bat should be enough to be part of the team but the management thought differs. Although India has quality replacements, Rahane well might be missed in the upcoming series.