Rohit Sharma, who was rested for the ODI series against West Indies, will return to lead the team in the T20I series. Meanwhile, KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav’s availability will be subject to fitness.
KL Rahul has not played international cricket since the end of the Indian Premier League. Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav were withdrawn from the T20I series against South Africa on the eve of the opening match. KL Rahul has also undergone surgery to treat sports hernia.
Ishan Kishan, who briefly held a top-10 spot in the ICC Rankings for T20I batters, has also been named in the squad for the series against West Indies. Ishan had played the first match against England before India decided to try Rishabh Pant as an opening batter alongside Rohit Sharma in the T20Is.
Deepak Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav, who scored recent hundreds in T20 Internationals, were certain selections for West Indies. There were no surprises as India decided to retain Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh. However, Umran Malik was left out after leaking 56 runs off his 4 overs in the third T20I against England.
R Ashwin had returned to the India T20I side for the World Cup last year but he has not played the shortest format internationally since the series against New Zealand in November. Ashwin had a good IPL season with Rajasthan Royals and he has now been given an opportunity to seal his place before the next T20 World Cup.
India have also rested star pacer Jasprit Bumrah for the T20I series in West Indies. Bumrah picked 6 for 19 against England in the first ODI and returned to the No.1 spot in the ICC Rankings for ODI bowlers.
Since the IPL, Virat Kohli missed out on the T20I series against South Africa and Ireland. He played the rescheduled Test against England before being rested for the first T20I against the hosts. Kohli returned to the playing XI for the remaining two T20Is without much success.
Virat Kohli was also left out of the first ODI against England due to an injury.
Several eyebrows were raised when Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were rested for the ODI series against the West Indies. Like Kohli, Rohit has not played a lot of cricket after the IPL.
Rohit did not feature in T20Is against South Africa and Ireland and he also missed the Edgbaston Test because he had tested positive for Covid-19. Rohit returned to lead India in the T20I series against England – he managed scores of 24, 31 and 11 in the three matches but oversaw a 2-1 series victory.
Rohit Sharma was back at his best in ODI at the Oval and he remained unbeaten on 76 off 58 balls as India completed a 10-wicket victory over England thanks to Jasprit Bumrah’s 6 for 19.
India’s squad for 5 T20Is: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul*, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh.
*The inclusion of KL Rahul and Kuldeep Yadav is subject to fitness.