IPL performers rewarded in India's squad for South Africa T20Is, Pujara back for rescheduled England Test
Mumbai, May 22, 2022
Pace sensation Umran Malik (SRH), left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh (PBKS), and veteran wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik (RCB) were on Sunday named in India's 18-member squad for the five home T20I series against South Africa, starting on June 9, after their impressive performance in the ongoing IPL 2022.
Malik has had a breakout season, picking 21 wickets in 13 fixtures so far and often clocking speeds in excess of 150 kmph while Arshdeep has emerged as a brilliant death overs specialist for Punjab Kings, enjoying one of the better economy rates in the tournament and has picked 10 wickets this season.
On the other hand, Karthik has been in blistering form at the back end of the innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. With a batting strike rate of 191.33, the veteran cricketer has won numerous games for the RCB as a designated finisher this season.
The 18-member squad will be led by K. L. Rahul, with a host of first-team players being rested in order to prepare for the tour of England. The likes of captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah have all been given a break.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who last played for India in the T20 World Cup has made a comeback. There were doubts about the option for the national side but he has proved himself during the ongoing IPL, where he's bowled for the Gujarat Titans and even done so in the powerplay.
Deepak Hooda and Venkatesh Iyer also retain their places in the squad. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are also included in the squad, on the back of their impressive performances for Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
Meanwhile, India also named the 17-member squad for the rescheduled Test against England at Edgbaston, Birmingham starting from July 1 with senior pro Cheteshwar Pujara, who was dropped for India's last Test series against SriLanka, making a comeback.
Impressive performances in the County Championship have helped Cheteshwar Pujara make a comeback into the Test squad. However, Ajinkya Rahane is still not part of the squad while Ravindra Jadeja who was ruled out of the IPL 2022 due to injury has found a place in the Test squad.
Shubman Gill has been picked in place of Mayank Agarwal while Shreyas Iyer -- who made his impressive Test debut earlier this year --continues to take a middle-order slot. K. S. Bharat is the second keeper in the squad but there is no room for Ishant Sharma. Prasidh Krishna, who has impressed in the white-ball format for India, finds a place in the Test squad.
India's Test specialists are likely to leave for England on June 15. The Birmingham Test was pushed back following a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp last year. India, who currently lead the series 2-1, will look to seal their first Test series win in the country since 2007.
Head coach Rahul Dravid is set to join the tour party after the conclusion of India's five-match T20I series against South Africa on June 19 in Bengaluru.
India's Test squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
India's T20I squad: KL Rahul (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik