BCCI has announced India’s 18-member squad for the upcoming T20I series against the West Indies. Having rested key players for the ODI leg of the tour, the selectors have picked the strongest possible squad for the shortest format of the game barring Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. While Kohli had reportedly asked for a break, it seems that Bumrah has been deliberately rested after featuring in all three formats on England tour.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul who was expected to take more time to recover from his injury has surprisingly returned to the squad subject to fitness. He underwent a successful sports hernia surgery last month in Germany but will now be keen to play constantly in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is also back in the white-ball set-up for the first time since January 2022. He last played a T20I for India in November 2021 against New Zealand.
While Yuzvendra Chahal has been rested Kuldeep Yadav is making a comeback to the squad for the five-match West Indies series. The left-arm wrist spinner last played in February 2022 and was out of action since then due to injury. However, he played for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to stake his claim in the shortest format. Like Rahul, Kuldeep also has been picked in the squad subject to clearing fitness.
What about the rest of the squad?
As for the rest of the squad, several players picked for Ireland and England tours have been picked. The likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Hooda, among others, have been retained. Hooda is likely to retain his number three spot in the absence of Virat Kohli while it is very much likely that one among Avesh Khan or Arshdeep Singh will replace Bumrah in the playing XI. In the only T20I he played, the left-arm pacer Arshdeep had impressed with his swinging skills and death bowling against England.
India’s squad for West Indies T20Is
Rohit Sharma (C), Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul*, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
*KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav’s inclusion is subject to fitness.