The Indian squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against New Zealand was announced on Tuesday and Rohit Sharma has been named captain of the team. KL Rahul has been appointed vice-captain of the 16-member squad. Virat Kohli, who stepped down from India’s T20I captaincy at the end of the team’s campaign at the ICC T20 World Cup, and premier paceman Jasprit Bumrah have been rested for the series. Sources in the BCCI told NDTV that while several senior players were rested, all-rounder Hardik Pandya was dropped from the squad. Hardik scored a total of 69 runs in the three innings that he played in the T20 World Cup. He bowled a total of four overs in two matches and went for 40 runs without picking up any wickets.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked a 16-member squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. India are set to play 3 T20Is starting from 17th November, 2021,” a BCCI release stated.
The 16-member squad includes wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. All these players were part of the T20 World Cup squad too. Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel, who were on the stand by list for the tournament, were also included in the team to take on the Blackcaps. New Zealand are still in the UAE, where they will take on England in the first semi-final on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been recalled to the side. Top order batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad and all-rounder Harshal Patel, who finished IPL 2021 as the highest run-getter and wicket-taker respectively, have earned an India call-up.
Swashbuckling left-handed opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer, who was a revelation for Kolkata Knight Riders in the UAE leg of the IPL 2021, also earned a maiden India call-up. Delhi Capitals (DC) bowler Avesh Khan was also included in the squad. He had picked up 24 wickets in IPL 2021.
Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur, who were part of the T20 World Cup squad, have also been rested for the New Zealand series.
India’s T20I squad:Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj
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