Rohit, Virat ignored again for Windies T20Is as Tilak Varma, Yashasvi Jaiswal make cut
The side led by Hardik Pandya has a youthful look to it with the only player above 30 being world No.1 batter and the team's vice-captain Suryakumar Yadav.
NEW DELHI: Two-format skipper Rohit Sharma and the peerless Virat Kohli are unlikely to feature anytime soon in the Indian T20 team as they were once again left out of the 15-member squad led by Hardik Pandya that will take on the West Indies in a five-match series, starting August 3.
The side led by Hardik has a youthful look to it with the only player above 30 being world No.1 batter and the team's vice-captain Suryakumar Yadav.
The only new face in the team is Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians left-hander Tilak Varma, who had made a strong case for himself during the past two IPL seasons batting in the middle-order and donning the role of a finisher with a strike-rate of 142-plus in 47 IPL and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy games.
Yashasvi Jaiswal, who is set to make his Test debut next week, is also a part of the T20 squad after a stupendous IPL.
While the emphasis for the next three months is on the 50-over World Cup and people privy to development would term it as being rested, it is certainly not a pattern in isolation that two pillars of Indian batting have not been a part of the last three T20 series (Sri Lanka, New Zealand), including this one.
As the saying is in Indian cricket circles, the two contemporary doyens "would never be officially dropped" but "phased out" unless some remarkable turnround happens, which would be nothing short of a miracle.
The meeting on Wednesday was also Ajit Agarkar's first as chairman of the national selection committee and there weren't any names that would have surprised anyone.
Rinku Singh, whose finishing skills at Nos 5 or 6 for KKR in IPL have impressed one and all, didn't figure in the 15-member squad but it is understood that with only a week's gap between the West Indies series and Ireland T20Is, there is a high possibility that both Rinku and Vidarbha's Jitesh Sharma will make that team along with Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Jitesh the glovesman lost out as both Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson are ahead in the pecking order and will always have an advantage unless they fail to perform.
The two players who have made international comebacks are pacer Avesh Khan and leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi.
Bishnoi, who last played for India in the Asia Cup in September, will be playing first-class cricket for Gujarat this season.
The team has three wrist spinners with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal also being part of the 15-member squad.
Axar Patel, who going by current form is a better T20 bet compared to Ravindra Jadeja, has been picked in the squad.
In Jadeja's case though, unlike Rohit and Kohli, he has been rested.
In the pace department, Avesh has been cranking it up with the red ball for Central Zone in the Duleep Trophy and in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, the pace department will be handled by Avesh and Umran Malik along with left-arm seamers from Arshdeep Singh.
Bengal's Mukesh Kumar is the back-up pacer.
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.