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The BCCI selectors announced the 15-man squad for the upcoming limited over series against Australia. And skipper Virat Kohli is back after being rested for the last two ODIs against New Zealand. So is pacer Jusprit Bumrah. Interestingly, K L Rahul, sent back from New Zealand following a controversy over his remarks in a reality show, is also included. But what has shocked many sports-lovers is that Dinesh Karthik, considered one of the best finishers in the shorter format of the game, has been sidelined.

It might be the end of the road for Karthik in ODI cricket as selectors are looking at him now only as a T20I specialist. Ever since the finals against Bangladesh in the Nidhahas Trophy, DK has been consistent. His contribution down the order has also been consistent. He had returned not out on several occasions. A reserve wicket-keeper, too, he will come in handy. Karthik has been exceptional with the bat in the few opportunities he managed to get in the ODI format. Since 2017 Champions Trophy, he has played 20 matches for India scoring 425 runs at an average of 47.22, which includes eight unbeaten knocks.

Rookie leg-spinner Mayank Markande has also been rewarded for his match-winning show for India A against England Lions. Markande scalped five wickets to steer India A to a series-clinching innings and 68-run win over England Lions in the second and final unofficial Test. With Chahal and Kuldeep certain to make it to the World Cup, Markande, if he gets his act right, would add variety to the spin department. With no Raveendra Jadeja in the squad for the Australian series, his chances of making it to London is all but over.

NT Bureau