The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) on Tuesday announced the Indian T20, ODI and Test squads to travel Down Under to Australia, for a two-month long assignment. Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who has had a rewarding IPL 2020 so far, becoming the first bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul in the ongoing IPL, has earned his first India call-up to the T20 side.
Chakravarthy, 29, has so far bagged 12 wickets, including a five-wicket haul, in 10 IPL games for KKR, and impressed one and all. He is one of the four spinners in the squad.
Mohammed Siraj, who was earlier a part of the Indian T20 and ODI set-up in 2017 and 2018 respectively, before being left out, has now been included in the Test squad and there is a possibility that he might receive his first test cap during the upcoming test series.
Navdeep Saini, who was a part of the Test team that had toured New Zealand last year but did not get a game, was once again included in the Test squad that will board the flight to Australia and might finally make his much-awaited Test debut.
The selectors elevated Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul to India vice-captaincy of the T20 as well as ODI teams, and he is the main wicket-keeper in both formats. Besides, he is also in the Test squad.
Interestingly, batting mainstay Rohit Sharma, who is currently leading Mumbai Indians in the IPL in the United Arab Emirates, and senior speedster Ishant Sharma do not find places in any squad. It is not known what kind of injury Rohit is carrying. He has missed a few MI matches due to this injury, but former India captain Sunil Gavaskar on Monday said on TV that Rohit reportedly practiced at the nets. "The BCCI medical team will continue to monitor the progress of Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma," the BCCI said.
Wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant did not find a place either in the T20 squad or the ODI team, though he is in the Test squad as the backup wicket-keeper. Wriddhiman Saha is the first choice stumper.
The Australia tour will comprise three Twenty20 Internationals, three One-day Internationals, and four Test matches, expected to be played between November 27 and January 19. The official itinerary is yet to be announced.
The selectors picked a total of 28 players for the three squads, out of which seven find a place in all three squads. They are Virat Kohli, who was named captain across formats, Mayank Agarwal, Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Navdeep Saini.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel, and T Natarajan are the four additional bowlers who will also travel with the contingent to Australia as net bowlers. Only Porel among these has not yet featured in a game in the IPL so far.
The Test series will be a part of the World Test Championship. India and Australia are currently ranked number one and two in the Test Championship standings.
T20I: 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, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy
ODI: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur
Test: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant (wicket-keepers), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj
With IANS inputs