Indian cricket team: KL Rahul relieved from wicket, Rishabh Pant returns: Indian T20I team talking points

Rishabh Pant has not played white ball cricket since January 2020. Photo: BCCI

Highlights

  • Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tewatia received their first T20 orders by BCCI
  • Suryakumar and Kishan play for Mumbai Indians while Tewatia represents Rajasthan Royals in IPL
  • T20I five-game series to be played in Ahmedabad, starting March 12

BCCI announced on Saturday a 19-member T20I squad for the five-game series against England, which begins on March 12. The selection panel led by Chetan Sharma handed the first call-up to 3 players while they also dropped 3 players – Sanju Samson, Mayank Agarwal and Kuldeep Yadav – from the list that circled Australia.

Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant and Varun Chakravarthy were among those who made their comeback. A day after the team selection, here we have a look at the talking points of Team India’s T20I team –

The coaches take off their KL Rahul gloves

In a rather surprising move, the coaches appear to have removed the gloves from KL Rahul as the BCCI team clearly mentions Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant for the role. The decision is open to debate as the team’s management backed Rahul for the job for a full year and also removed Rishabh from the squad.

The sudden change was a big surprise and it will be interesting to see if the team’s management follow suit. Rahul is likely to keep the gloves on in 50-over cricket.

Rishabh Pant makes another white ball comeback

The young wicket-beater has only been with the national team for 4 years, but Rishabh has made many returns to the white ball team. On some occasions he was abandoned without having had enough chances. And for the tour in Australia too, it was abandoned without being given the chance.

His red ball form is too good to ignore and the coaches had no choice but to call him back to the T20I squad. Rishabh has played 16 ODIs and 28 T20Is since debuting in 2017.

Award-winning IPL interpreters

The breeders took note of the IPL artists and awarded Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tewatia. Long-time Indian A-side Suryakumar scored 480 points in the 2020 IPL while Kishan finished the season with 516 points, most by an uncapped batsman. Tewatia of the Rajasthan Royals scored 255 points and scalped 10 wickets last season.

Rishabh will face the former captain

Rishabh has returned to the T20I side but where is the captain going to adapt it? The 23-year-old will face his former U-19 captain Kishan for a place in the XI. Prior to his Test debut, Rishabh was next to Kishan in the pecking order, as the coaches nominated only one wicket keeper for the “A” series. He edged out Kishan to make his test debut in 2018 and it looks like he will be preferred to the Mumbai Indians batsman in the T20 series as well. Rishabh was Kishan’s deputy at the 2016 U-19 World Cup.

Fitness issues still prevail

One of the main talking points of the selection is the question of physical condition. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey and Mohammed Shami missed the selection due to fitness issues. Having new faces on the squad reflects the depth of Indian cricket, but the lack of regulars also means India hasn’t been able to create a perfect squad for the T20 World Cup.

The men in blue are still undecided on their finishers and the second spinner, who will be the partner of Yuzvendra Chahal. On the Australian tour, even main spinner Chahal was barred from playing XI once.

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