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I expected Ajinkya Rahane in the ODI squad: Sourav Ganguly

10 May 2018

He was just 14 runs short of overtaking Rayudu (423 runs in 10 games). He has been in good nick in the IPL over the last two seasons with the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The spark showing during a terrific maiden ODI century in Australia in early 2016 has faded, but Pandey did not fare badly in the eight games he played past year, scoring 171 runs at a strike-rate of 88.60 when batting in the middle order.

India have since struggled to find the right mix in their middle-order. He has played 20 matches and has scored 690 runs with a highest score of 106 at an average of 34.5.

However, he was ignored for two years before he knocked down the door with a sensational run in the IPL; he has been the star in a line-up comprising Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo. In 10 matches previous year, he had picked up 16 wickets. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma and Rashid Khan took one wicket each.

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He had served deployment tours in Iraq and Qatar, and also helped in hurricane relief efforts in Houston and Puerto Rico. Harter's father said the last thing his son said to them before he died was that he was coming home.

SRH's Kane Williamson scored his fifth fifty of the season - first batsman to do so in IPL 2018 - and during the course of his 39-ball 56, he also became only the second batsman to score 400 or more after Rayudu.

Kaul was however, surprisingly, the only player of the trio to be selected in India's T20 squad for the tour to Ireland and England. The three ODIs will be played on July 12, 14 and 17, respectively.

India have been in sensational ODI form over the year. Rahane did play the third Test of the South Africa series but by then India was 2-0 down. Kohli led from the front, scoring 558 runs in the six-match ODI series which India won 5-1. The two Twenty20 Internationals against Ireland will be held on June 27 and 29. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ishant Sharma, who are now playing in English county, have managed to retain their places in Test squad.

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And these are the same set of selectors who feel that same Rahane is the best captain material in Test cricket as they have named him captain of the Test squad in the one-off Test against Afghanistan as Virat Kohli will be playing county preparing for Test series in England.

It comes as further shock after the team management praised Rahane for his performance during the ODI series in South Africa.

Karun Nair (Captain), R. Samarth, Mayank Agarwal, AR Easwaran, Prithvi, H.Vihari, Ankit Bawne, Vijay Shankar, KS Bharat (wk), Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ankit Rajpoot, Md Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Rajneesh Gurbani.

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We have now so many experiences, the play-offs, the ultimate, some very large dips within the season, 5 defeats in a row. We had some luck but this group of players deserve this unbelievable achievement.

I expected Ajinkya Rahane in the ODI squad: Sourav Ganguly