The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced a 16-member squad for the T20I series against New Zealand at home. Rohit Sharma has been named the captain of the T20I side while KL Rahul will be his deputy for the 3-match series, starting November 17.
Virat Kohli, who stepped down as T20I captain after India's early exit from the T20 World Cup, has taken a break for the series and will be back for the Tests against New Zealand to be ready in time for the tour of South Africa later this year.
Rohit Sharma will join hands with newly-appointed head coach Rahul Dravid, who will take over from the New Zealand Series. India is playing two tests after the T20I series but BCCI has yet to announce the Test team.
India have not made complete changes to the squad in the T20I format despite their disappointing performance at the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Also Read- Virat Kohli T20I captaincy record: India Second most successful captain after Dhoni
While Hardik Pandya is not included in 16-man squad, the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and former captain Kohli have been rested. Pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami along with leg-spinner Rahul Chahar are the ones who are not part of the T20I squad.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Muhammad Siraj and Shreyas Iyer Return
Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal, whose exclusion from the T20 World Cup squad was widely debated, returns to the squad for the New Zealand series. He has been preferred over Rahul Chahar, who played only 1 match -- the dead rubber against Namibia at the World Cup.
Off-spinner R Ashwin has been retained after his impressive performances on his return to the T20I side after a 4-year-gap at the T20 World Cup. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also retains his place in the side while pacer Mohammed Siraj returns to the T20I side for the first time since March 2018.
Shreyas Iyer, who was part of the reserve unit at the T20 World Cup, finds his way back to the team after a good start for the Delhi Capitals in the second half of IPL 2021. Deepak Chahar, who was also not part of the India squad at the World Cup, finds his way back into the squad.
IPL performances rewarded
Meanwhile, the likes of Venkatesh Iyer and Harshal Patel have been handed maiden India call-ups after dream runs in the IPL. While Harshal won the Purple Cap with a record-equalling tally of 32 wickets in IPL 2021, Iyer shone at the top, hitting 370 runs in 10 matches for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Avesh Khan who rattled opposition batsmen with pace for Delhi Capitals also got the India call-up as Rahul Dravid's side looks a good mix of youth and experience.
.@ImRo45 all set to lead #TeamIndia's T20I squad against New Zealand.— BCCI (@BCCI) November 9, 2021
How excited are you for the home series? #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/wGCe0gBbL2
India squad for T20I series vs New Zealand
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, Mohammed Siraj.
Full Schedule of India vs New Zealand T20Is
1st T20I in Jaipur on November 17
2nd T20I in Ranchi on November 19
3rd T20I in Kolkata on November 21
Also Read- PTV sends Rs 100 million defamation notice to Shoaib Akhtar