Mumbai:- Young left handed batters — Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma — earned maiden T20I call-ups as India on Wednesday announced the squad for the upcoming five-match series against West Indies, which will be played in the Caribbean and Florida from August 3.
Both Yashasvi and Varma had an impressive IPL 2023 season with the bat for their respective sides. Rajasthan Royals opener Jaiswal was the fifth highest run-getter with 625 runs at an average of 43.21 and a strike rate of 181.13, with one century and five fifties. On the other hand, Varma, a middle batter for Mumbai Indians, scored 343 runs at an average of close to 43, striking his runs at 164.11.
Meanwhile, wicket-keeper batter Sanju Samson also returned to the squad, which was picked by the senior men’s selection committee led by Ajit Agarkar. Ishan Kishan is the other wicketkeeping option in the squad.
On the other hand, senior players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma continue to miss out from the T20Is, with Hardik Pandya continuing as captain while Suryakumar Yadav has been named his deputy.
Mukesh Kumar, who was also named in the Test and ODI squad, earned a T20I call-up but there was no room for Jitesh Sharma, who was the back-up keeper in the last series against New Zealand at home. Rahul Tripathi. Washington Sundar, Deepak Hooda and Shivam Mavi, all of whom were part of the New Zealand T20Is, missed out.
Axar Patel, who had missed the New Zealand T20Is for personal reasons, is back in the team and is one among four spinners in the squad, with the other three being wrist spinners — Ravi Bishnoi, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Ravindra Jadeja has not been named in the squad.
Fast bowler Avesh Khan also returned to the side having last played a T20I for India in August 2022, during the Asia Cup. Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh and Arshdeep Singh form the pace department with Hardik Pandya expected to chip in with a few overs of pace himself after he returned to bowling fitness during the IPL.
Among the major surprises were the non-selection of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rinku Singh, who both had a good IPL season. With 590 runs, Gaikwad was the seventh highest scorer and the highest run-getter for Chennai Super Kings while KKR’s finisher Rinku scored 474 runs at an average of 59.25 and a strike rate of close to 150.
India play two Tests and three ODIs against the West Indies following which the five-match T20I series will take place. Trinidad will host the first game on August 3, followed by two matches in Guyana on August 6 and 8. The action will then shift to the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill, Florida which will host the last two games on August 12 and 13.
India’s T20I squad: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Surya Kumar Yadav (VC), Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya (C), Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.