Dubai: KL Rahul will be leading a new-look Indian team that is without many of the stars for the Twenty20 series against South Africa.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee picked an 18-member squad for the five-match PayTM T20 series that will begin on June 9 in Delhi and the Indian opener’s impressive captaincy track record during the ongoing Indian Premier League, where he led debutants Lucknow Super Giants to the play-offs, must have tilted the scales in his favour.
Skipper Rohit Sharma, star batter Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested for the series while Umran Malik gets his maiden call-up to the Indian team after clocking over 150 kmph during the Indian Premier League Season 15. Rishabh Pant has been appointed vice-captain for the series that sees the return of all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the trio in top form in the IPL 2022. Venkatesh Iyer, despite his lacklustre form, has been retained while Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will be leading the spin attack against the full-strength Proteas with pacers Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel.
Meanwhile, veteran batter Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been sending strong signals to the selectors with four consecutive centuries in the ongoing County Championship for Sussex, has regained his place in the 17-member Test squad for the fifth rescheduled Test against England, to be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham from July 1-5. India currently lead the Test series 2-1. However, no such luck for Ajinkya Rahane, who along with Pujara has lost his spot in the Test team after being the vice-captain of the Men in Blue. Rahul has been appointed the vice-captain of the Test squad. Karnataka wicketkeeper KS Bharat has been named the reserve wicketkeeper.
India’s Test squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.
India’s T20I squad: KL Rahul (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.