The young and emerging stars from the IPL – Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, and Rahul Tewatia earned their maiden Indian call-up as BCCI announced India’s squad for the T20I series against England.
Kishan, who scored a valiant 173 of 94 in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy match against Madhya Pradesh had been doing rounds for a while now. So was Suryakumar Yadav, having displayed his focus, temperament, and hitting ability tailor-made for the shortest version. One other surprise selection though was the all-rounder Rahul Tewatia. Fairly economical with the ball and lethal with the bat lower down the order, Tewatia could well be a vital balancing factor for the team.
While a few key players from the current Indian side were rested, a few were called back to the squad, in what seemed like India’s preparation for the T20 World Cup at home this year.
Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami were awarded a well-deserved rest ahead of India’s taxing cricket schedule. The bowling responsibilities were handed over to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, and Navdeep Saini with spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, and Axar Patel for the company. The star debutant from down under – T Natarajan, coming out of paternal leave, and the injured spinner he originally replaced – Varun Chakravarthy were both included in the T20 side.
Rishabh Pant also made it back to the T20I team following his undiminishing form in the last two months. However, it would be interesting to see whether he finds a place in the immovable Indian Top 6.
Meanwhile, Manish Pandey who missed the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy due to an injury was excluded from the team. The likes of Mayank Agarwal and Sanju Samson were also dropped, but are expected to be back for the ODIs.
India has picked horses for courses. Really happy for SKY and Kishen. And also, for Pant’s inclusion in the shortest format. Now, for the team management to ensure that they get enough opportunities….it’s a format that dictates inconsistency…therefore, demands patience!!
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 20, 2021
Overall, the squad looks to be a good mix of experienced, youths, and debutants, worthy of putting a strong Indian front against the Englishmen.