India vs New Zealand: Reason why Hardik Pandya isnt picked in T20I squad – CricTracker

Posted: November 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

Hardik Pandya. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on November 9, announced the squad for the upcoming three-match home series against New Zealand, which gets underway from November 17. It is learned that all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been excluded owing to fitness concerns.

Pandya has been struggling with a back injury, which has kept him away from his bowling duties for the majority of this year, which included his time at the Mumbai Indians during the 2021 IPL, followed by the T20 World Cup, where he bowled only in two fixtures out of five, with his inclusion and fitness under constant questioning throughout the tournament.

Meanwhile, on expected lines, the squad is sans numerous first-choice players who have been rested after a tedious, jam-packed schedule over the last year in bio-secure environments. The national selection committee named Rohit Sharma as the leader of the group, and KL Rahul as his deputy, following Virat Kohlis decision to step down from his position of Indias T20I skipper upon the conclusion of the 2021 T20 World Cup, where the teams campaign ended prematurely in the Super12s on November 8.

Kohli is one of the first-choice players to be rested alongside Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, while also absent from the 16-member party are Shardul Thakur, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, all of whom were included in Indias T20 World Cup squad.

The team will also welcome some new, uncapped members in Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan, who all had an impressive run at the 2021 IPL, while Ruturaj Gaikwad, who made his debut earlier this year against Sri Lanka, has been included too. Gaikwad, notably, was the top run-scorer in the IPL this year, with 635 runs at 45.45, and a strike rate of 136.26, including a century and four half-centuries.

Iyer had an impressive stint with Kolkata Knight Riders as an opener, scoring 370 runs at 41.11 in 10 matches, while he also proved himself as a handy seam-bowling all-rounder. Royal Challengers Bangalore pacer Harshal ended the season with a chart-topping tally of 32 wickets (average 14.34, strike rate 10.56), followed Delhi Capitals Avesh, who finished as the second-leading wicket-taker 24 scalps (average 18.75, strike rate 15.25).

The series will also mark the return of Yuzvendra Chahal, who was surprisingly excluded from Indias T20 World Cup squad despite an impressive UAE leg of the IPL with RCB, while Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar, who were the travelling reserves with the Indian team at the T20 World Cup, are back too, as are Axar Patel and Mohammed Siraj.

The fixtures will be played in Jaipur (November 17), Ranchi (November 19) and Kolkata (November 21), followed by two Tests in Kanpur (November 25-29) and Mumbai (December 3-7), the squad for which will be announced in the due course.

India squad for New Zealand T20Is: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj

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India vs New Zealand: Reason why Hardik Pandya isnt picked in T20I squad - CricTracker

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