All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked a 16-member squad for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. India is set to play three T20Is starting from November 17, 2021.
Rohit Sharma will be leading the side after Virat Kohli stepped down as the skipper of the T20I side. Kohli had the T20 World Cup as his last assignment as skipper in the shortest format of the game.
KL Rahul has been named as vice-captain. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Harshal Patel, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel have also been named in the squad.
New Zealand will play a T20I series and then follow it up with two Test matches. The T20Is will be played on November 17 in Jaipur, November 19 in Ranchi and November 21 in Kolkata. The two Tests will be played in Kanpur (November 25-29) and Mumbai (December 3-7).
In the test squad announced, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team in the first Test in Kanpur which is scheduled for November 25. Virat Kohli will join the squad for the second Test in Mumbai and will lead the team. The Mumbai Test is scheduled for December 3rd.
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Rohit Sharma have been given rest by the BCCI.
Key Points About India T20 Squad
- Gaikwad’s selection is an interesting call. This means India haven’t gone for quicker-scoring options in the form of Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson. While Shaw is at least a part of the India ‘A’ squad to tour South Africa, Samson hasn’t been selected for either squad.
- Several selections in the line-up have been rewarded for recent form shown in the IPL. Players who missed out on a T20 World Cup spot despite a stellar 2021 IPL finds a place in this squad. These include Harshal Patel (32 wickets), Avesh Khan (24 wickets), Venkatesh Iyer (370 runs, 3 wickets) and Gaikwad (635 runs).
- In the absence of Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer is all set to play the role of the fast-bowling all-round option. He packed a punch with the bat in helping KKR to the final of the 2021 IPL, though it will be interesting to see where India plays the Madhya Pradesh player, given that he’s opened up for MP and KKR.
- Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar don’t make it to the India squad, while Yuzvendra Chahal makes a comeback. Axar Patel also features after being named as a World Cup reserve, while Ravindra Jadeja appears to have been rested. It seems that India have gone back to old and trusted faces
Key Points About India Test Squad
- Hanuma Vihari has been one of the most underrated Indian players for quite a while now. He has quietly gone about his work. Moreover, he is more or less a Test specialist as well. The middle order batter has played 12 Tests so far scoring 624 runs in 21 innings. His batting average and strike rate are 32.84 and 42.56 respectively. Vihari was absolutely brilliant in his last Test match against Australia where he saved the game at the SCG along with Ravi Ashwin. Last but not the least, he can bowl part-time off-breaks as well. He will be disappointed to miss out.
- Shreyas Iyer, who last played a first-class match in February 2019, makes the cut. Though the Delhi Capitals batter averages is 52.18 after 54 first-class games, his call-up does come as a surprise due to his long absence from the red-ball game. Iyer’s selection and the omission of Suryakumar Yadav, who was part of the squad for the series against England earlier this year.
- The omission of Shardul Thakur from the side goes on to show how he appears to be considered a seaming all-rounder mainly useful in overseas conditions. With India usually going in with a spin-heavy approach at home, Thakur may not be in the fray when the team plays at home.