Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for upcoming New Zealand T20 series with Shreyas Iyer and Mohammed Siraj the new faces coming in. Ashish Nehra has been picked for only the first T20, to be played in Delhi, which will be his last game before retiring. The T20 series begins on November 1 and will see the two sides play three T20s.
“Iyer has been prolific across formats – in first-class, one-dayers, T20 – he’s been performing consistently,” MSK Prasad, India’s chairman of selectors, said in Mumbai on Monday. “If we pick a player, we will give him a long run. The same applies for Siraj.”
Iyer comes into the side on the back of strong performances for India ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘A’ where he scored 317 runs in four matches with scores of 108 runs, 82 runs, 90 runs and 37 runs. Prior to that, he finished as the third highest run-getter in South Africa in the tri-series involving the hosts and Afghanistan A. It included a match winning 140 runs from 131 balls to clinch the series.
The selectors also retained KL Rahul for the series after being dropped from the ongoing three-match ODI series against New Zealand. Dinesh Karthik, who was named in the T20 squad against Australia, has also been retained. In the spin department, the selectors continue to persist with Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja – who have been included for Sri Lanka Tests – have once again not been considered.
MSK Prasad also added that Nehra’s place in the first T20 is not assured and it will be up to the team management to decide the XI. The left arm seamer has not asked for a farewell game. “We can’t say that [if he will surely play in the Delhi T20I],” Prasad clarified. “Whether he is going to play or not, it is clearly the team management and the selector on call, whoever it is. The think tank involved will be taking a call. There is no assurance from our side that he’s going to play or not. It will be decided on that particular day.”
“We have clearly communicated to the player, i.e Ashish Nehra and to the team management that we are only looking at him till the New Zealand series. If you have seen the pattern with which we have selected the India A players, the same bowlers we have been continuing with for the last one and a half years on all A trips, that means they are very much in line. They have really done well in South Africa, also at home against New Zealand. This message has been clearly communicated and we are very happy that the player also needs to take it in the right spirit that the new generation is coming up.”
India squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra (only for first T20I)