India's selectors have gambled on teenage chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who has had an impressive Champions League T20 campaign, in the 14-man squad for the first three ODIs against West Indies. The major changes in the squad came in the spin department, with lead spinner R Ashwin rested, Amit Mishra returning and legspinner Karn Sharma missing out.
Uncapped teenage wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson who was part of the limited-overs squad in England has been left out, as have allrounder Stuart Binny and quick bowler Dhawal Kulkarni.
The India call-up marks a stunning rise for Kuldeep, who is yet to play a domestic one-dayer and whose entire senior experience consists of 8 Twenty20 matches. He was part of India's squad for the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, but it was his six wickets at an economy rate of 6.62 for Kolkata Knight Riders in the CLT20 that looks to have earned him his national spot. His unorthodox style of bowling, coupled with an ability to bowl the wrong 'un have helped him keep his place in the Knight Riders side so far despite the presence of the senior pair of Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla.
"Today is the day when my parents have been rewarded for the amount of sacrifices they made to make me a cricketer," Kuldeep told PTI. "I was disheartened and completely broken when the UP management didn't find me good enough to play Ranji Trophy. My parents and childhood coach consoled me a lot at that time. I started working harder and today, I am in the Indian team."
In Ashwin's absence from the national team, Kuldeep will have to contest for the second spinner's spot with legspinner Mishra, who missed the England series with an injury.
While the spin department had a reshuffle, there was little change in other areas of the squad, with no major surprises in the batting or the fast bowling. M Vijay, who flew to England as a replacement when Rohit Sharma got injured, remains in the side with Rohit still out injured.
India play the first of five ODIs against West Indies on October 8, in Kochi.