MUMBAI: Batsman K.L. Rahul returned to India’s squad on Friday for the upcoming limited-overs series against Australia after being sidelined for sexist comments during a controversial TV chat show appearance.
Team-mate Hardik Pandya had talked about his encounters with multiple women in the chat show aired last month as Rahul sat next to him, prompting an uproar on social media that led to the duo’s suspension.
While their ban was lifted last month and Pandya returned to the Indian XI in New Zealand, Rahul had to prove his batting form for India ‘A’ against England Lions in two unofficial Tests. Rahul has been named in both the ODI and T20 squads announced by the country’s cricket board.
Skipper Virat Kohli also returned to lead the side in two T20 matches starting on Feb 24, followed by five ODI games.
Kohli opted out of the last two ODIs against New Zealand after guiding the side to an unbeatable 3-0 lead, also skipping India’s 2-1 defeat in the T20 series.
Senior wicket-keeper/batsman Dinesh Karthik was dropped from the ODI team that unites for one final time before the 50-over World Cup in England and Wales starting on May 30.
Rising star Rishabh Pant got the go-ahead instead, indicating the wicket-keeper could be a part of India’s World Cup scheme.Frontline fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been rested for the first two ODI games and returns for the remaining three matches. Rookie leg-spinner Mayank Markande takes the place of new spin ace Kuldeep Yadav in the T20 squad.
For T20 series: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande
For first two ODIs: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Siddharth Kaul, KL Rahul
For remaining three ODIs: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant.
Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019