Assam’s Parag gets India call-up

Many of the youngsters who had impressed in the IPL have been a part of the preparation camp at the National Cricket Academy.
Rajasthan Royals' Riyan Parag plays a shot during the Indian Premier League  2024.
Rajasthan Royals' Riyan Parag plays a shot during the Indian Premier League 2024.Photo| ENS

CHENNAI: Riyan Parag became the first male cricketer from Assam to get an India call-up as the BCCI announced the 15-member squad for the five-T20I tour of Zimbabwe which will begin on July 6.

In a white-ball series that will begin in a week after the ongoing T20 World Cup, the Indian team will be led by Shubman Gill with as many as five players earning their maiden T20I call-up after a stellar show in the Indian Premier League. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Abhishek Sharma and Nitish Reddy, Rajasthan Royals’ Parag and Dhruv Jurel and Chennai Super Kings’ pacer Tushar Deshpande have been included in the Indian squad for the first time. Among them, Parag got selected for the Indian team after consistent performances in the domestic tournaments and the 2024 IPL. Many of these youngsters who had impressed in the IPL have been a part of the preparation camp at the National Cricket Academy.

Apart from the youngsters who broke into the team, the 15-member squad also features off-spinning all-rounder Washington Sundar, leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, Rinku Singh and Khaleel Ahmed, who are a part of the India reserves. Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal, who are in West Indies for the World Cup, are also a part of the team and will travel to Zimbabwe from the Caribbean.

The interesting bit about the squad is that Gill has not been an India regular in the format even when Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are not playing. The squad also has Ruturaj Gaikwad, who captained India in the Asian Games to a gold medal. The Punjab batter named captain could be indications of a long-term succession plan as he is one of the few batters to be a part of the team across formats.

Although it is not yet confirmed, it seems likely that NCA chief VVS Laxman might travel with the team to Zimbabwe as the BCCI waits to announce their new head coach. Former cricketers WV Raman and Gautam Gambhir had been interviewed for the job. Whoever gets the role might travel with the team to Sri Lanka after the India series.

Squad

Gill (C), Jaiswal, Ruturaj, Abhishek, Rinku, Sanju (WK), Jurel (WK), Nitish, Parag, Washington, Bishnoi, Avesh, Khaleel, Mukesh, Deshpande.

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