India recalled fit-again opener Rohit Sharma and spin trump card Ravichandran Ashwin as the holders finally named their squad for next month's Champions Trophy in England and Wales on Monday.
March 26, 2015 was the last time Mohammed Shami featured in a One-Day International for India.
Having someone like Zaheer Khan in the Daredevils camp can be of enormous help and Shami admits that the former India pacer has plenty of interactions with him during the nets. "He's one cricketer whom we're looking for [the] future". "The IPL has been a good platform to warm up", he said.
The pace attack will feature Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav for sure.
BCCI's chairman of selectors M.S.K. Prasad had no hesitations in calling the former India skipper "the best stumper" in the world despite his erratic run with the willow in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). We need to help each other out there in the middle. We will give it our best, we will give it more than our 100 %, rest, a bit would depend on luck too.
On both previous occasions that England have hosted the tournament, in 2004 and 2013, they have ended as runners up.
"The Champions Trophy has produced some incredible cricket, we've seen how dynamic teams are with the bat and ball and in the field, and we're seeing a lot of younger fans coming in and watching the 50-over format. We will groom him, nurture him and back him", the chief selector said.
India, under the leadership of MS Dhoni, won the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England and added yet another feather to Indian cricket glorious hat.
Stand-bys: Rishabh Pant, Suresh Raina, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Dinesh Karthik.
Is there anyone in Indian cricket who doesn't feel bad for Rishabh Pant? Manish Pandey was preferred to Karthik as a specialist batsman. Prasad rightly praised Dhoni's contributions to the team, pointing out that it's unfair to judge him only as a batsman and he still remains among the best wicket-keepers in the world.
The squad is as follows: Virat Kohli (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah & Manish Pandey.
"He is the best person to guide Virat. Even if you are motivated, you still have to push your limits because sometimes these domestic players are better players of spin bowling than what the global players are nowadays", he added.
India will play their opening match of the Champions Trophy, to be held in England, against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4. "That shows he is fit and not like others who are getting rehabilitated after surgery", Prasad explained.