New faces aplenty in India’s T20I squad for South Africa; squad for rescheduled England Test also named

Eye-catching performances in the ongoing edition of the IPL have been richly rewarded as India named their squad for the upcoming home T20I series against South Africa on Sunday, 22 May.

The selection committee has also named India’s 17-member Test squad for the rescheduled Test against England in Edgbaston, set to be played starting July 1.

The 18-member T20I squad will be led by KL Rahul, with a host of first-team players being rested in order to prepare for the tour of England. All of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Jasprit Bumrah were given a break, with the squad featuring plenty of fresh faces.

Some of the best performers in the ongoing edition of the IPL have been rewarded with a place in the squad, including 36-year-old wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik, and young pacers Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.

The series against South Africa will provide these players an opportunity to impress as India seek to test combinations and fine-tune plans in the build-up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia later this year.

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Experienced internationals Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya are also in the fold, the latter having proved his fitness and having led Gujarat Titans brilliantly to a top-of-the-table finish in the league stage of the IPL.

Karthik has been in blistering form for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, having won numerous games for the franchise as their designated finisher.

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Umran Malik, meanwhile, has turned plenty of heads with his raw pace for the Hyderabad-based franchise, consistently clocking speeds of over 150 kmph. Arshdeep Singh is another young pacer who has impressed, the left-arm pacer emerging as an economical death overs specialist for Punjab Kings.

Deepak Hooda and Venkatesh Iyer also retained their place in the squad, despite having had middling tournaments. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are also included on the back of their performances for the Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals respectively.

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India will begin their five-match T20I series against South Africa on 9 June in Delhi, with the final match being played in Bengaluru on 19 June.

T20I squad: KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bishnoi , Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

India’s Test squad for the final, rescheduled Test in England saw the return of Cheteshwar Pujara, who was excluded for their last series against Sri Lanka.

Pujara has fought back his place in the side following stunning performances in the County Championship Division 2 for Sussex – he has been in the top five run-scorers in the tournament.

Also included in the Test list is fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who has done well in the white-ball format for India.

Test squad: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit B , Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

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