Shreyas Iyer, the Mumbai opener, and Hyderabad pacer Mohammad Siraj received their maiden T20I call-ups for the three-match T20I series against New Zealand. Ashish Nehra
has been named in the squad for only the first game following his
recent announcement that he will retire from all forms of cricket after
the T20I in Delhi.
till date has notched up 1289 runs at an average of 26.85 in domestic
T20s. The opener cum No. 3 batsman has been in stellar form in the
recent past. He composed a crucial knock of 90 at Visakhapatnam in the
just-concluded One-Day series between India A and New Zealand A. He was
also the second highest run-getter for Delhi Daredevils in the 2017 IPL,
compiling 338 runs at an average of 33.8. During the course of the
tournament, the Mumbai batsman also registered his highest individual
score in the T20 format when he crunched a 57-ball 96 against Gujarat
the Sunrisers Hyderabad quick, also shone brightly in the IPL by
picking up 10 scalps at 21.2. The promising pacer, known for his control
and yorkers, has bagged 26 scalps at a healthy average of 18.73 in the
shortest format of the game.
all should be happy that we have picked two youngsters. Shreyas Iyer
and Mohammed Siraj," MSK Prasad, the chief of the selection panel, said.
"Shreyas has been prolific in all forms of the game, be it four-day's
format, be it one-day or T20, be it IPL, he has been performing. We will
sit with this policy that if we pick a player, we will give him an
extended rope, and we will continue with him and nurture him and see
that he goes on to become successful. So is the case with Siraj. He is
doing well, he has been duly recognised and rewarded as well," he added.
Prasad also backed MS Dhoni,
to play a key role in limited overs cricket in the near future. The
former India captain has struggled to make an impact in the shortest
format of the game, capsulised by the fact that he has accrued just one
fifty in T20Is. However, he has been in very good form in the ODI
format, composing 673 runs at 67.3 this year.
doing really well. There's no concern about that. He is still the best
wicketkeeper-batsman, not only India has but still one of the best in
the world. It's not just about MSD, there are a lot of other players who
are being rotated in the batting order. Prior to a big event, six or
seven months prior the World Cup, we should have consolidated batting
positions and we will stick with it," he noted.
Prasad mentioned that the selection panel had made it clear to Nehra
that they are looking to groom younger players coming through the ranks
for the T20 format. Nehra subsequently decided to walk into retirement
life after the first T20I against New Zealand at his homeground - Feroz
Shah Kotla (Delhi).
there is a lot of apprehensions going on about Ashish Nehra. I will
make it very clear and candid to you, we all know that right from the
word go that communication has been our strong point. We have clearly
communicated to the player, i.e Ashish Nehra and to the team management
that we are only looking at him till the New Zealand series.
you have seen the pattern with which we have selected the India A
players, the same bowlers we have been continuing with for the last one
and a half years on all 'A' trips, that means they are very much in
line. They have really done well in South Africa, also at home against
New Zealand. This message has been clearly communicated and we are very
happy that the player also took it in the right spirit that the new
generation is coming up. Instead of waiting till the end of the New
Zealand series, he felt that Delhi game itself is... so that the others
can move on," he noted.
also remained non-committal about whether Nehra will play the T20I in
Delhi. "We can't say that [if he will surely play in the Delhi T20I].
Whether he is going to play or not, it is clearly the team management
and the selector to make a call, whoever it is. The think tank involved
will be taking a call. There is no assurance from our side that he's
going to play or not. It will be decided on that particular day," he
Prasad-led selection committee also retained KL Rahul for the
three-match rubber. The opener was dropped from the ongoing three-match
ODI series against New Zealand. Dinesh Karthik, who was included in the
squad for the T20 series against Australia, has also been retained.
selectors continued to keep faith in Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
and Axar Patel while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - the
first-choice spinners in the Test format - have once again not been
Squad for the T20I series:
Virat Kohli (c) Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey,
Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel,
Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar,
Ashish Nehra (1st T20I), Mohammad Siraj.