Hardik to lead India in T20I series against Sri Lanka; Rohit returns for ODIs; Pant not in either squad

Hardik to lead India in T20I series against Sri Lanka; Rohit returns for ODIs; Pant not in either squad thumbnail

Hardik Pandya will lead India in the three-match T20I series at home against Sri Lanka starting on January 3, with Suryakumar Yadav as his deputy, while Rohit Sharma is set to return for the three ODIs that follow.

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are also not part of the T20I squad; and Shikhar Dhawan has been left out of the ODI set-up after a poor run in Bangladesh, where he scored only 18 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 51.42.

Rishabh Pant has not been included in either the ODI or the T20I squad against Sri Lanka after he was given a break from the ODI series in Bangladesh. Pant subsequently returned for the two Tests and scored a rapid 93 in the victory in Mirpur.

The BCCI release that followed the selection meeting chaired by Chetan Sharma did not specify which players had been rested, dropped or injured.

While Rahul is part of the ODI squad, he hasn’t been named vice-captain, with Hardik taking over as Rohit’s deputy in his first 50-over series since the tour of England in July. Rahul had recently led India in the third ODI in Bangladesh after Rohit was ruled out with a thumb injury.

Jadeja’s recovery taking longer than expected

Ravindra Jadeja did not feature in either squad as he continues his recovery from a knee injury. He last played for India at the Asia Cup in UAE in August-September, and subsequently underwent surgery. Jadeja’s inclusion for the Bangladesh tour was provisional and he was later withdrawn after NCA medical staff deemed him “not fully fit”.

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ESPNcricinfo understands Jadeja’s recovery is taking longer than expected, and while an exact date for his return isn’t known, the team is keen to have him back for the four-Test series against Australia starting in February. Jadeja could play in a Ranji Trophy game for Saurashtra, subject to permission, to prove his match fitness ahead of that series.

The selectors chose a young pace attack for the T20Is against Sri Lanka with both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, who were part of the 2022 T20 World Cup squad, missing. Shami, however, is back in the ODI set up for the first time since the tour of England in June-July, after being withdrawn from the recent tour of Bangladesh because of a shoulder injury.

Maiden call-ups for Mavi, Mukesh

Uttar Pradesh’s Shivam Mavi and Bengal’s Mukesh Kumar earned maiden T20I call-ups following a prolific Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 season. The T20I squad also features Harshal Patel and Umran Malik, whose most-recent T20I was in June against England.

ESPNcricinfo understands Harshal had contracted covid upon his return from New Zealand and was asked to rest from the first two rounds of the Ranji Trophy as a precautionary measure. He was subsequently given a fitness clearance ahead of the selection meeting.

Arshdeep Singh is back in the ODI squad after making his debut on the recent tour of New Zealand but missing the subsequent trip to Bangladesh. He is yet to take a wicket in ODIs after going wicketless in two matches in New Zealand.

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Middle-order batter Rajat Patidar and spin allrounder Shahbaz Ahmed are the other omissions from the ODI squad after the recent series in Bangladesh, where neither played a game. Deepak Chahar, who had pulled out of the tour of Bangladesh with a hamstring strain, was also not part of either squad.

At the start of an ODI World Cup year, India begin their home season by hosting Sri Lanka for three T20Is in Mumbai (January 3), Pune (January 5) and Rajkot (January 7), and three ODIs in Guwahati (January 10), Kolkata (January 12) and Thiruvananthapuram (January 15), after which they will also host New Zealand and Australia before the IPL.

Squad for Sri Lanka T20Is: Hardik Pandya (capt), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (vc), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar.

Squad for Sri Lanka ODIs: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohamed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh.

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