India T20I Squad, Players List for New Zealand Series 2020: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced a 16-member T20I squad for India’s New Zealand tour, scheduled to start from January 24. India will be playing five T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches against the Kiwis in Auckland.
The squad will be led by skipper Virat Kohli, with Rohit Sharma as the vice-captain and Rishabh Pant as the wicket-keeper. The team also includes KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shardul Thakur.
India’s T20I squad for NZ tour announced: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, S Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, W Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 12, 2020
Former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also not included in the squad. The 38-year-old has not played since India’s World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand on July 9, but is likely to make a comeback with the IPL.
The five-man selection panel dropped Kerala batsman Sanju Samson. There were no major surprises with most of the players picking themselves.
“There are no surprises in the Indian T20 squad with Rohit as usual coming back in place of Sanju, who is already in New Zealand with the A-team. All the other players picked themselves,” news agency PTI quoted a senior BCCI official.
However, the selection committee, under outgoing chairman MSK Prasad, kept the ODI and Test squads on hold for the time being.
The series is part of the World Test Championship and a series win will definitely brighten India’s prospects of reaching 2021 final.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s return to cricket after recovering from back injury has been further delayed as he failed mandatory fitness tests in Mumbai on Saturday. Pandya was earlier included in India A’s tour of New Zealand for three List A games.
The mandatory fitness tests Pandya failed does not include Yo-Yo test. The 26-year-old ‘s fitness levels were far below the permissible limit for international cricket which led to him getting dropped from the Shubman Gill-led India A squad.
A BCCI release mentioned that Hardik Pandya’s rehabilitation process is taking “longer than expected”.
“Hardik Pandya was boarding the flight to New Zealand for A team without playing a Ranji match. If we go by media reports, his trainer has said that there are workload issues with regards to his bowling. That itself implies that he is not fit. I think the BCCI will instruct Hardik to first play Ranji Trophy for Baroda and prove his fitness,” PTI quoted a senior BCCI source.
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