Dinesh Karthik (right). @ AFP
Dinesh Karthik (right). @ AFP

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant’s inclusion in India’s 14-man squad announced by the BCCI on Thursday for the first two ODIs against West Indies almost spells doom for the underperforming senior pro Dinesh Karthik.

Pant, who has scored 114 and 92 in his previous two Tests, has been in red hot form as compared to DK, who has only managed scores of 33, 31*, 1*, 44 and 37 in his last five innings. However, chairman of selectors MSK Prasad dropped a major hint that Karthik, who’s last-ball six against Bangladesh helped India clinch the Nidahas T20 series, might just be in India’s scheme of things.

“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,” Prasad said on Thursday.

Among the bowlers, Siddarth Kaul has been replaced with Mohammed Shami, who last played an ODI in September 2017. “I have been telling this for a quite some time that we are just 18 ODIs away from now before we play first game of the World Cup and so we need to figure out our fast bowlers and so we have picked Shami,” said Prasad.

With Hardik Pandya sidelined with an injury he sustained during the Asia Cup, Ravindra Jadeja has kept his place after making a successful comeback to the ODI squad in the UAE. Prasad said that Pandya will be unavailable till the second week of November.

“Well, it is a workload management program going on and it all depends on his recovery from the injury he has now. At an appropriate time, we can answer as and when he recovers from injury.”

Kedar Jadhav, the game-changer at the Asia Cup, who picked up a hamstring injury in Dubai, will be available for selection for the last three ODIs.

Meanwhile, Prasad revealed that Dhoni will play for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy knock-out phase. “He [Dhoni] will play the knock-outs. About Ambati Rayudu, I need to confirm,” he said.