MUMBAI — Indian cricket has entered a new era as Virat Kohli was officially anointed captain for all three formats Jan. 6 as he took over leadership for the limited-overs series against England where veterans Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra will make a comeback.
While Mahendra Singh Dhoni, after more than nine years at the helm, will play only as keeper-batsman, the national selection committee under MSK Prasad's chairmanship named rookie Delhi keeper Rishabh Pant in the T20 squad, giving an indication as to whom they consider Dhoni's successor.
The selection committee meeting Jan. 6 had its share of drama and was delayed by three hours on technical grounds before a go ahead from the Lodha panel set the proceedings rolling.
Today's meeting was convened by BCCI CEO Rahul Johri after joint Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary stood disqualified owing to the Supreme Court verdict, which sacked the entire BCCI top brass the last week of Dec. 2016.
Among the notable omissions, Ajinkya Rahane has been dropped from the T20 team and Pant replaces him as a batsman who will also be Dhoni's understudy in limited overs for the time being.
"We know what Mahi is all about, he is a captain by nature, a leader from the front," Prasad showered accolades on the outgoing captain.
Yuvraj was in splendid form during the Ranji Trophy and scored 672 runs in five games at an average of 84 with a highest score of 260 against Baroda before he took a break due to his marriage.
"We should appreciate how Yuvraj has played. He did extremely well in domestic cricket, which has been appreciated," Prasad told the media regarding Yuvraj, who is making a comeback nine months after the World T20 last year.
The two teams saw veteran Nehra, who underwent surgery after sustaining an injury in the Indian Premier League, make a comeback. His selection indicated the dearth of quality left-arm seamers in the horizon and no one can question Nehra's craft with the white kookaburra.