The squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka, starting on January 3 in Mumbai has been announced.
It signals a big shift in Indian cricket.
The big guns, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are not part of the T20I squad.
Notably, Hardik Pandya has been named skipper, a news that has been in the offing for a while.
However, Rohit will return to lead Team India in the ODI series against the same opponents, starting on January 10.
Suryakumar Yadav has been rewarded for his performances, he will be the vice-captain of the side in the T20I series.
At the same time, Hardik will be Rohit’s deputy in the ODIs.
The BCCI has refused to commit on whether Pandya’s appointment was a permanent change or just for one series.
The most notable absentee from both the squads was Rishabh Pant, who was part of India’s recent Test series win against Bangladesh.
Wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan has been included in both the ODI and T20I squads.
Sanju Samson is part of the T20I squad. Rahul, who is not part of the T20I squad, has been named as a wicketkeeper in the ODIs.
Pant has been asked to report at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for a knee strengthening rehabilitation programme for two weeks.
Hence, he will miss the entire Sri Lanka series. So it’s not clear if he has been rested or dropped.
Another big news is the dropping of Shikhar Dhawan from the ODI team.
Though he led the side in New Zealand, his dismal form and lack of consistency sounded his death knell.
As it is, India has great options for the opening slot – Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan who hit the fastest double hundred less than a month back.
Our belief is that Hardik’s elevation as T20I skipper is likely to be permanent.
It’s clear that the T20 team will see the recruitment of more young players who are great fielders and have a fearless bent of mind.
The T20I team already has a fresh look with two uncapped pacers Shivam Mavi and Mukesh Kumar being inducted.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rahul Tripathi, two powerhouse IPL performers, made it to the T20I side.
Going ahead, we expect to see shining young talents like Ayush Badoni and Padikkal also becoming part of the team.
The ODI side boasts a more experienced look with Mohammed Shami coming back from shoulder injury.
India’s squad for Sri Lanka T20Is: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar.
India’s squad for Sri Lanka ODIs:Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (VC), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh.