In a much-anticipated announcement, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has officially revealed the squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against Australia.
The series is slated to commence on November 23 in Visakhapatnam, promising a thrilling contest between two cricketing powerhouses.
Notable among the exclusions is Sanju Samson, the skipper of the Rajasthan Royals, who has once again failed to secure a spot in the Indian squad.
The decision has raised eyebrows among fans and experts, as Samson’s exclusion comes despite consistent performances in domestic and franchise cricket.
Ruturaj Gaikwad, the dynamic opener, has been given responsibility with the role of vice-captain for the series against the newly crowned ODI champions. Gaikwad’s inclusion and his elevation to vice-captaincy underline the selectors’ faith in his abilities and potential leadership qualities.
The 24-year-old right-hander has been in top form, and this series presents a golden opportunity for him to make a mark on the international stage.
The Indian squad exhibits a strategic blend of experience and youth, with only three players retained from the recent T20 World Cup campaign – Prasidh Krishna, Ishan Kishan, and the captain for the series, Suryakumar Yadav.
The decision to rest key players, including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, and the formidable pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Mohammed Siraj, underscores the team management’s emphasis on managing player workload amid a hectic cricket calendar.
Hardik Pandya, initially identified as the preferred choice to lead the team, will be conspicuous by his absence due to a left-ankle ligament tear sustained during the ODI World Cup 2023.
In his stead, Suryakumar Yadav, who previously served as the T20 vice-captain during the series against West Indies earlier this year, will take on the mantle of captaincy.
The T20I series against Australia will end with the final on December 3 in Hyderabad. The IND vs AUS T20I series is expected to provide a platform for emerging talents to showcase their skills and stake a claim for a permanent spot in the Indian squad.
As for Hardik Pandya, the all-rounder’s absence from this particular series is a setback, but he is anticipated to make a comeback during the South Africa tour next month.
The focus will now shift to the selected squad as they gear up to face Australia in what promises to be an enthralling T20I series, with both teams eager to make a statement in the lead-up to future international competitions.
India’s squad for Australia Series
Suryakumar Yadav (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dubey, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.