India have recalled fast bowler Mohammed Shami to the ODI squad for the first two matches against the West Indies, the national chief selector said on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Shami, who last played an ODI against Australia in September 2017, was included in the 14-member team led by Virat Kohli.
Shami will spearhead the team’s pace attack comprising Shardul Thakur and up-and-coming left-arm paceman Khaleel Ahmed, who made his debut in the recent Asia Cup 50-over tournament.
“We are just 18 ODIs from now before we play our first World Cup game (in England next year), so we need to figure out our fast bowlers. In that process we have picked Shami,” MSK Prasad told reporters in Hyderabad.
“We are also very close to settling the middle-order batting and have closed in on a couple of names,” said India’s former wicketkeeper-batsman.
Pacemen Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested for the first two ODI matches scheduled for 21 and 24 October in Guwahati and Visakhapatnam.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant, who has impressed with his attacking left-hand batting, has been added as a back-up wicketkeeper as part of his grooming excercise under Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
India will head into the ODI series after playing the second and final test in Hyderabad starting on Friday. The two teams will also play three Twenty20 internationals.
Squad for first two ODIs: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Lokesh Rahul.