Sharma, Kohli out of NZ T20Is: Workload management or future planning?

India name a young side to take on the Kiwis in the T20I series

NEW DELHI | Updated: 14 January, 2023 4:03 am IST
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will miss the New Zealand T20Is

Ahead of the recently concluded T20 series against Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma said that the selectors and team management had made it clear to some of the senior players that workload management is key as India gear up for the ODI World Cup later this year.

That is one possible explanation for the omission of skipper Rohit Sharma and star batsman Virat Kohli from the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka at home.

However, naming a relatively young side also suggests that selectors are looking for the next generation to step up – at least in the shortest format of the game.

Incidentally, KL Rahul, along with Axar Patel, will also be out of action for the T20I as well as the ODI series. While the BCCI cited both having family commitments, the fact is India’s top three from the previous two T20 World Cups will miss two successive T20I series.

In the absence of Sharma, Hardik Pandya will lead the T20I team, with Suryakumar Yadav named as his deputy. The T20I series will be held between January 27 and February 1 and will be played in Ranchi, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.

Sharma and Kohli, however, will feature in the ODI series that will be played between January 18 and 24 in Hyderabad, Raipur and Indore.

With Rahul opting out and Rishabh Pant recuperating from a crash, Indian selectors have named uncapped KS Bharat as the second wicket-keeper in the team. Ishan Kishan will be the first-choice keeper.

Selectors have also named Shahbaz Ahmed as the replacement for Axar Patel. Left-arm spin all-rounder Shahbaz has been part of the white-ball teams in recent months and has played three ODIs, most recently in December on the tour of Bangladesh.

Fast bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur, who was not included in the Sri Lanka series, is also back in the squad.

Prithvi Shaw, who hit the headlines at the right moment with a 383-ball 379 against hapless Assam in Ranji Trophy, is back in the mix. Shaw, who last played for India in July 2021, is named in the T20 squad.

Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav is also back in the T20I squad, having last played for India in that format in August 2022. Jitesh Sharma also remains in the squad as the deputy to Ishan Kishan.

India ODI squad : Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat (wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik.

India T20I squad: Hardik Pandya (capt), Suryakumar Yadav (vc), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Prithvi Shaw, Mukesh Kumar.

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