Cricketer Rishabh Pant to make ODI debut against West Indies

New Delhi: After being impressive in Test cricket, Rishabh Pant is all set to be handed his ODI debut in the first of the five-match ODI series against the West Indies in Guwahati on Sunday.

Pant has been named in a 12-man shortlist for the series opener announced by the BCCI and is set to play as a specialist batsman with MS Dhoni playing as the wicket-keeper.

The 21-year-old was named in the list announced by BCCI that had six batsmen, Ravindra Jadeja as an allrounder, and five bowlers.

Pant revealed his excitement to play in the series through a tweet on Friday. “Always ready to give my 100 per cent on a cricket field. Cannot wait to take on the West Indies in the first ODI on Sunday! #IndiaVsWestIndies #comingup,” he wrote.

Pant’s inclusion comes even as the Indian team have struggled to get going in the middle order over the past 15 months. The young batsman is expected to add the much-needed impetus to the batting.

With Dhoni being preferred as the number one wicket-keeper batsman in the squad, Pant will walk out to play as a specialist batsman and if he does hit the ground running, it will put pressure on the seasoned Dhoni leading into the World Cup.

“It is no brainer who is our No 1 wicketkeeper. In search of second wicketkeeper, we have given opportunities to DK and right now we are giving an opportunity to Rishabh Pant. At an appropriate time, we will take a call as to who is the best among the two,” chief selector, MSK Prasad said after he announced the squad.

Pant, impressed cricket fans with his batting in the 2-Test series by scoring 184 runs in a home test series against Windies at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot.

India 12-man shortlist team for 1st ODI against West Indies:

Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed.