India pick Pant, Yadav for West Indies tour

Rishabh Pant (Getty)
Rishabh Pant (Getty)

New Delhi - Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav were picked on Thursday for India's limited-overs tour of the West Indies comprising five one-day internationals (ODI) and one Twenty20 starting June 23.

The two youngsters replace opening batsman Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Hardik Pandya from the 15-man Champions Trophy squad, which is defending its title in England and Wales.

Pant, who has played just one T20 international for India, and Yadav were already on the radar after being named among five players kept on standby for the 50-over tournament.

The duo have been rewarded for their excellent showing on the domestic circuit, including impressive displays in the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.

Pant, 19, hit two fifties for Delhi Daredevils in the recent IPL edition, following on from a 326-ball 308 in the domestic Ranji Trophy last season.

His aggressive left-handed batting and ability to handle the pressure of a high-stakes match impressed chief selector MSK Prasad, who described him as a "player for the future".

Yadav piqued interest in his Test debut, clinching four wickets in India's series victory over Australia in March.

The 22-year-old from Kanpur in northern India also put in a strong showing for his IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders.

The Virat Kohli-led India will leave directly for the Caribbean Islands after wrapping up their ongoing Champions Trophy campaign.

India though do not officially have a coach for the West Indies tour, with Anil Kumble only contracted until the end of the Champions Trophy.

"The administrative staff of the Indian Cricket Team will continue for the tour of West Indies," said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), without clarifying the coach's position.

The BCCI has hinted Kumble could stay on for the West Indies tour. The position for head coach was advertised last month, with Kumble among the names in the mix.

India squad:

Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Dinesh Karthik.

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