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Tilak Varma, Jaiswal earn maiden call-ups as India name T20I squad for West Indies

Last updated on 05 Jul 2023 | 03:47 PM
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Tilak Varma, Jaiswal earn maiden call-ups as India name T20I squad for West Indies

There is no maiden call-up for Rinku Singh, who was one of the MVPs of IPL 2023

The BCCI have named a 15-man squad for the five-match T20I series against West Indies starting August 3, and have handed maiden call-ups to the pair of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma, both of whom had breakthrough seasons in the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

While Jaiswal, playing for Rajasthan Royals, racked up 625 runs and smashed the most runs by an uncapped player in an IPL season, Tilak, representing Mumbai Indians, smashed 343 runs at an impressive strike rate of 164.11. With one eye on the T20 World Cup in West Indies next year, the selectors have decided to blood-in both left-handed youngsters.

Hardik Pandya will be captaining the 15-man squad, with incumbent skipper Rohit Sharma rested, and the series will also not witness Virat Kohli, who, like Rohit, will only play the Tests and ODIs. Suryakumar Yadav has been named deputy to Hardik.

While Ishan Kishan has been named the first-choice wicket-keeper, Sanju Samson, who did not feature in the T20Is against New Zealand, has been handed a recall. However, Deepak Hooda, who was a part of the starting XI in the T20Is against New Zealand in February, has been axed.

Hooda is not the only omission. Rahul Tripathi, who had a poor IPL season, has been left out along with Prithvi Shaw. The most curious omission from the T20I squad, however, is that of Ruturaj Gaikwad, who had a fantastic IPL 2023, smashing 590 runs at an average of 42.14, and was earlier named in both the ODI and Test squads. 

There is also no maiden call-up for Rinku Singh, who was one of the MVPs of IPL 2023, smashing 474 runs at an average close to 60 and an SR close to 150. Jitesh Sharma, who fared exceptionally well as a finisher for Punjab Kings, has also not been picked.

On the bowling front, the selectors have handed a recall to Avesh Khan despite a poor IPL 2023. Avesh, who last played T20Is for India in Asia Cup 2022, took only eight wickets at an E.R of 9.75 for the Lucknow Super Giants. It remains to be seen whether Avesh will be fit or not after the 26-year-old suffered an unfortunate on-field collision on Day 1 of the Duleep Trophy semi-finals on Wednesday. The speedster, as of now, has been sent for scans.

Avesh, however, is not the only LSG player in the 15-man squad as the selectors have also handed a recall to Ravi Bishnoi. Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are the other spinners in the squad, with the selectors opting to rest Ravindra Jadeja. There is no place in the squad for Washington Sundar.

On the pace-bowling front, uncapped Mukesh Kumar has also been picked in the squad. 

The first of the five T20Is will be played at the Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba, Trinidad on August 3rd.

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.

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