Virat Kohli will lead India in the Twenty20 International (T20I) and One-Day Internationals (ODI) series against Australia as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squads on Friday. India will host Australia in the two-match T20I series, starting on February 24 in Visakhapatnam. The two sides will later face each other in a five-match ODI series which will get underway from March 2 in Hyderabad. KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant have been included in the T20I and ODI squads ahead of the World Cup 2019.
Rahul fought his way back after a couple of good innings for India A against England Lions in the two unofficial Tests, which concluded hours before the national selection committee met here. Battling indifferent form in Australia, the opener was called back after the unsavoury comments on women in a TV talk show, following which he was asked to regain his form by concentrating on domestic cricket.
The 21-year-old Markande was rewarded soon after his five-wicket haul, which powered India A to an innings and 68-run victory over England Lions in the second unofficial Test. He has also been a part of the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians.
The omission of Karthik is an indicator as to who among Rishabh Pant and the Tamil Nadu player will board the England-bound flight as a specialist batsman cum second wicketkeeper for the World Cup.
Pant has found a place in both the squads.
When India toured Australia in 2018-19, the T20I series ended in a 1-1 draw. The visitors went on to win the Test and ODI series.
India's squad for T20I series against Australia: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit (vice-capt), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande
India's squad for 1st and 2nd ODI against Australia: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Siddharth Kaul, KL Rahul
India's squad for remaining three ODIs: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant
(With PTI inputs)