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Maiden ODI call-up for Gurkeerat, Aravind surprise T20 pick

Rookie Punjab all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann on Sunday earned his maiden India call-up while Karnataka seamer Srinath Aravind staged a comeback after four years as BCCI announced its squads for the three T20 Internationals and the first three ODIs for the upcoming home series against South Africa.

The 25-year-old Gurkeerat was rewarded with a place in the ODI team for his consistent performance for India A in the recent limited overs matches while left-arm seamer Aravind got a surprise recall in the T20 squad to be captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Seasoned off-spinner Harbhajan Singh retained his place in the T20 team as selectors picked the squad looking ahead at the ICC World T20, next March. Veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra was recalled in both ODI and T20 squads announced by BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur after a meeting of the selection committee here. Barring Gurkeerat and Aravind’s inclusion, there were no major surprises with the selectors preferring to stick with <g data-gr-id="31">recent</g> pool of players who have done well for India.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was a notable omission in both the squads while pacers Ishant Sharma and Varun Aaron, regarded as Test specialists, were not considered.

Seniors like Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ravichandran Ashwin were automatic selections in both the teams. So were Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, all of whom have been <g data-gr-id="28">integral</g> part of India’s <g data-gr-id="29">limited overs</g>’ scheme of things.

Chairman of selectors Sandeep Patil said that the squads <g data-gr-id="26">have</g> been picked keeping the World T20 in mind and also clarified that there <g data-gr-id="25">was</g> no discussions on removing Dhoni from ODI captaincy.

“We have not discussed anything about captaincy of ODIs. We are very happy in the manner Dhoni has led the side and we have total backing for Dhoni during the upcoming series,” Patil rubbished the reports that emerged in some quarters about Dhoni’s removal from captaincy in the 50-over format. 

“We have always discussed the forthcoming World T20. We have also discussed the possibilities and the performances of players and who all will be useful,” Patil told <g data-gr-id="33">media</g> persons. About Gurkeerat’s selection, Patil said, “We have kept in mind his all-round abilities and his recent performances. He is an exciting youngster.
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