The schedule of India’s tour of Australia is yet to be announced by Cricket Australia but the BCCI has, on Monday, named the squads for the T20I, ODI and Test series Down Under.
The tour is expected to start in the last week of November and all players travelling to Australia will board a flight straight from the UAE with Ravi Shastri, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara and the rest of India’s support staff having landed in Dubai earlier on Monday.
This is India’s first international outing since the series against South Africa was called off midway due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
The biggest omission from all three squads is Rohit Sharma who is currently nursing an injured hamstring.
The Indian limited-overs vice-captain sat out of Mumbai Indians’ last two outings and the BCCI’s release said they would be monitoring his progress. They also said they will keep an eye on Ishant Sharma’s recovery after the speedster had to return home from the Delhi Capitals’ camp after picking up an injury.
In his absence, KL Rahul has been named Virat Kohli’s deputy in the white-ball formats with the wicket-keeping duties also being given to him.
The selectors picked a total of 28 players for the three squads, out of which seven find place in all three squads. They are Virat Kohli, who was named captain across formats, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Navdeep Saini.
Pant Out But Samson In For T20Is
Rishabh Pant has been left out of both the ODI and T20I teams, and only picked in the Test squad. Sanju Samson has earned himself an India recall, with his name slotted as a back up wicket-keeper in the T20I squad.
In this season's IPL, Pant has a highest score of 38 which is one of his four scores in 30s. He averages 31 at a strike rate of 117.29. Samson, on the other hand, has three half-centuries and even though his average is a shade under 30, he has managed to win Rajasthan Royals a few games.
Against Pant's 217 runs, Samson has 326 runs and his strike rate is exceptional at 157.48.
Varun’s Dream Run Continues
KKR’s ace leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy's good performance in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) has also been rewarded as he’s earned a maiden India call-up, for the T20I series.
So far this IPL, he has conceded runs at just 7.05 runs an over and picked 12 wickets, including a five-wicket haul, in 11 matches.
The 29-year-old first hit the headlines after he was picked by Kings XI Punjab ahead of last season for Rs.8.4 crore, but he got just one game after being ruled out due to an injury. He, however, came into his own this season in KKR colours. Chakravarthy, who was born in Bidar, Karnataka, but comes from Thanjavur, took five for 20 on Saturday against Delhi Capitals although he has been economical throughout the season.
"It is not just the fifer [Chakravarthy took against Delhi Capitals]; it is the way he has bowled in the entire tournament, so far. He hasn't given away too many runs, he has picked wickets at crucial times in the middle overs and he hasn't allowed the batsmen to settle. Therefore, it is clearly a reward for some fine performances in IPL T20 tournament. It just shows that dreams do come true," said former India captain Sunil Gavaskar during TV commentary during the KKR-KXIP game on Monday.
The BCCI, in the formal release, said that four additional bowlers -- Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel and T. Natarajan - would travel with the Indian contingent to Australia.
Team India’s Squads For Australian Tour
T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy
ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur
Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj