The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday announced a 19-member squad for the five-match T20I series against West Indies, which is scheduled to begin on July 29 in Trinidad. However, the selectors have taken a drastic call by dropping former India captain Virat Kohli.
On the other hand, the likes of KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav have also returned to the team but their availability depends upon their fitness as well. Regular captain Rohit Sharma will lead the team whereas star performers like Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda have retained their places in the squad as well.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul has not played any international cricket since the end of the Indian Premier League. Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav were withdrawn from the T20I series against South Africa on the eve of the first match whereas Rahul has also undergone surgery for his injury as well. Ishan Kishan, who has been added to the top-10 spot in the ICC Rankings for T20I batters, has also been added to the squad for the series against West Indies. Ishan had played the first match against England before Team India decided to try Rishabh Pant as an opening batter alongside Rohit Sharma in the T20Is as well.
Meanwhile, there were no surprises as India decided to retain their prime pace bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh. However, Umran Malik was left out after conceding 56 runs off his 4 overs in the third T20I against England as well. On the other hand, R Ashwin returned to the T20I side for the World Cup last year but he has not played the T20I format since the series against New Zealand in November.
Ashwin had a stunning IPL season with Rajasthan Royals and he has got an opportunity to seal his place before the next T20 World Cup as well. However, Team India have also rested speedster Jasprit Bumrah for the T20I series in West Indies. Bumrah claimed 6 for 19 against England in the first ODI and returned to the No.1 spot in the ICC Rankings for ODI bowlers as well.
India’s squad for 5 T20Is: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul*, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.