Big names set to be rested for New Zealand series

All-rounder Hardik Pandya may be dropped for the New Zealand series as they are ready to look ahead with Madhya Pradesh's Venkatesh Iyer being seen as a potential replacement.

Published: 08th November 2021 12:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2021 12:03 AM   |  A+A-


Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli are likely to be rested for the New Zealand series(Photo | AP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rishabh Pant are expected to be rested for India's upcoming T20I series against New Zealand at home. The three-match series begins in Jaipur on November 17 and the national selection committee headed by Chetan Sharma is expected to name the squad on Monday which will be led by Rohit Sharma, who is all set to take over as captain in the T20Is. There are indications that a formal announcement on his elevation as white-ball captain could also happen in the next couple of days with Kohli remaining in charge of the Test team.

India will play their last group match of the T20 World Cup against Namibia on Monday, which is inconsequential as they are already out of the tournament. The selectors are understood to have more or less finalised the team and apart from giving much-needed rest to these seven players, all-rounder Hardik Pandya may be dropped for the New Zealand series as they are ready to look ahead with Madhya Pradesh's Venkatesh Iyer being seen as a potential replacement. As far as spinners go, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar are expected to retain their spots alongside Axar Patel, who was part of the reserves at the T20 World Cup. All these seven players have been on the road for a long time. 

On the batting front, Maharashtra's Ruturaj Gaikwad, who won the Orange Cap for Chennai Super Kings in their IPL title-winning run, is expected to get a call-up. Even Shreyas Iyer, who missed out on the T20 World Cup squad, is set to take his spot in the middle-order. Since Ishan Kishan is around, there won't be a need for a third opener.

With Shami and Bumrah getting rest, India are set to field a different pace attack which is likely to include the likes of Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Siraj are expected to get a look-in for the three-match series that will be played in Jaipur, Ranchi and Kolkata before the two-match Test series commences on November 25 in Kanpur.

Given their cramped schedule, there are indications that India will have a separate set of players for T20s going forward as they are keen on improving the workload. In the next two years, India are entering a rebuilding phase and it is in the white-ball formats where they are diverting all their attention towards as they have two World Cups coming their way in as many years. In both T20s and ODIs, they are far from finding an ideal combination and need to build a strong team that can win them the title. With just 11 months remaining for the next T20 World Cup, their immediate focus is on finding the right players for the format and there are indications that few of the big names may not be picked anymore going forward. 

Meanwhile, the BCCI is also expected to finalise the batting, fielding and bowling coaches to assist head coach Rahul Dravid on Monday as they have to enter a bio-bubble on Wednesday.


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