Rohit, Shami back; Rishabh Pant, Raina on standby for CT squad


Rohit Sharma's return was expected once he proved his fitness after a thigh surgery and shoulder problem, while KL Rahul's injury layoff means the man with two ODI double centuries is set to return as opener. Meaning, Manish Pandey will play as a reserve player.

R Ashwin who missed the IPL owing to a sports hernia was included in the side along with Yuvraj Singh.

Following the decision, a selection meeting is scheduled to take place on May 8 in the national capital to select the squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy.

But having Rahane as a back-up is a very good option to have.

The selectors went with the proven performers and did not give weightage to the performances in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League.

Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya are as good as any at numbers 6 and 7.

The selectors considered left-arm unorthodox bowler Kuldeep Yadav before deciding a spin attack comprising Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, aided by part-timer Yuvraj Singh, should be sufficient.

India confirmed their participation in next month's Champions Trophy in England and Wales on Sunday after initially delaying the announcement of their squad over a revenue sharing disagreement with cricket governing body.

The BCCI delayed naming the Indian team because of its objections that a new ICC financial formula hurts India's interests by reducing its revenues from $570 million to $293 million for the period 2016-23. "We respect IPL but in the longer format, we have to also consider the English conditions that we are playing in".

No question marks here. Gabbar also struggled when he last played for India. The inclusion of Pandya, a pace-bowling all-rounder who can also hit the ball a long way, adds balance to the squad. Indian cricketing greats including Sachin Tendulkar urged the side to compete in the prestigious event. For the sake of every cricket fan, glad the squad is finally being announced setting aside all of the off-field controversy. After that I never played for India in ODIs. The Champions Trophy, after all, is no less than the World Cup.

"We all believe that he is still the best wicket-keeper in the world". And, it seems, the selectors have gone ahead with Rahane as the favoured choice.

Some of the other names that were discussed seriously were keeper-batsmen Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Shardul Thakur and Suresh Raina.