The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced the Twenty20 squad for the three-match series against New Zealand starting November 1. Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra was selected only for the first match to be held at his home ground --Delhi, which will also be his last international appearance for the Indian team. Interestingly, the 38-year-old pacer is not assured of a slot in the playing XI for his farewell match.
Chief selector MSK Prasad stated that the selection in the eleven is the sole prerogative of the team management. "Whether he (Nehra) is going to play or not, is clearly the decision of the team management. There are no assurances from our side (selectors), whether he is going to play or not. It will purely be decided by the team management," Prasad told reporters in Mumbai.
However, Prasad clarified that there has been a clear communication with Nehra with regards to how they are looking at the future. "There are lot of apprehensions going on about Ashish Nehra. I will make it very clear and candid -- we have clearly communicated to the player, that is Ashish Nehra and the team management, that we are only looking at him till the New Zealand series," he added.
"If you see the pattern with which we have selected India A players, the same bowlers have been continuing for the past one and half years in all the A tours. That means they are very much in line (for selection), and they have really done well in South Africa (A tour) and also at home against New Zealand," Prasad further added.
Nehra, who made his debut for the Indian team in 1999, has played 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 26 Twenty20 matches in his 18-year-long career.
India squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra (only for first T20I)
(With PTI inputs)