GOOD NEWS: Umran Malik Returns to Team India, Dinesh Karthic Out, Check Squads For IND Vs NZ Series.
Umran Malik is back while Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan have been named captain
Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan have been named captain of India’s T20I and ODI squads respectively for the tour of New Zealand, which gets underway November 18. With Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul rested, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has been appointed vice-captain of both squads, while in a huge takeaway, the T20I setup sees the return of young pacer Umran Malik. Barring Kohli and Rohit, Dinesh Karthik and Mohammed Shami are the only other big names that are missing, with the likes of Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Mohammed Siraj set to usher Team India into the next era.
Also returning to the T20I fold are Shreyas Iyer and Kuldeep Yadav. The left-arm chinaman bowler, Kuldeep, last played against South Africa at home where he impressed with his wrist-spin, picking up six wickets from three matches including a best of 4/18. With Yuzvendra Chahal already in the squad, the famous ‘Kul-Cha’ reunion is set to take place. Speaking of India’s spinner, R Ashwin has been dropped. Iyer, meanwhile, was drafted in India’s T20 World Cup squad as a reserve and will look to give his career a fresh start as he returns to a country where he performed well on his last tour. Iyer had scored 103, 52 and 62 in the three ODIs even as India were blanked 0-3. In T20Is, he had scored 153 runs from five games, including scores of 44, unbeaten 33 and 58 not out.
Questions might be raised over Rahul getting rested, merely two months after returning to top-flight cricket following his recovery from a groin injury. He led India in the Zimbabwe ODIs before playing the Asia Cup, then the subsequent Australia and South Africa series and now the World Cup. For someone who is looked at as a future India captain, Rahul missing an important tour of New Zealand does raise a few eyebrows, more so given the fact that he has blown hot and cold lately.
And then there is DK. Karthik’s exclusion from both squads – T20Is in particular – raises a few questions about his future. The 37-year-old, who left the field limping during the India vs South Africa World Cup tie on Sunday, has apparently injured his back and remains a doubtful starter for the Bangladesh clash, let alone for the remainder of the World Cup. But while chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma refused to give any official statement on the extent of DK’s injury, he refused this being the end of the road for Karthik. With Karthik not given a look-in, the competition for the wicketkeeper’s slot will be between Pant and Sanju Samson.
Umran’s return is one that takes the cake though. The 22-year-old pace sensation, who was left out of India’s T20 World Cup squad will return having played just three matches for India – two against Ireland and one against England. There has been a huge hue and cry about Umran potentially deserving a place in the World Cup squad but the selectors decided otherwise. With a plethora of legendary fast bowlers – such as Wasim Akram, Brett Lee and Dale Steyn – being vocal in their support for Umran, here is the rookie pacer’s chance to have a crack at the BlackCaps batters in chilly New Zealand conditions.
The Dhawan-led ODI unit wears an almost similar look with the two newsworthy additions being a maiden call-up for Kuldip Sen and a return from injury for Deepak Chahar. Chahar, one of the stand-byes for India in their World Cup squad, sustained a back injury and had to be sidelined, while Kuldeep has been rewarded with an elusive national call-up after a string of impressive showing in the domestic circuit. Kuldeep recently grabbed figures of 5/94 and ended with a match-haul of 8/135 in Rest of India’s 8-wicket win in the Irani Cup final.
India’s T20I squad:
Hardik Pandya (Captain), Rishabh Pant (Vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik
India’s ODI squad:
Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Rishabh Pant (Vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Shahbaz Ahmed, Washington Sundar, Umran Malik, Kuldeep Sen, Arshdeep Singh, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.
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