Rishabh Pant returns to India T20I squad for England series; Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan earn call-ups

Rishabh Pant returns to India T20I squad for England series; Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan earn call-ups

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has made his comeback following a long injury layoff.

Thangarasu Natarajan
Team India. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The BCCI has announced India’s squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against England. The series is scheduled to commence on March 12 with all the five matches set to be played at the renovated Motera Stadium. The same venue will play hosts to the third and fourth Test between the two teams.

As far as the squad is concerned, Rishabh Pant makes a stunning comeback following his excellent performance on Australia tour and against England at home in Tests. Sanju Samson makes way for him after being part of the three T20Is down under. Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also made his comeback after proving his fitness following an injury he sustained during the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Jasprit Bumrah has been deservedly rested following a hectic Australia tour and the England series in whites. Notable inclusions in the squad are maiden call-ups to Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Rahul Tewatia. The trio had an exceptional IPL 2020 season. Moreover, the Jharkhand skipper, Kishan, smashed 173 off just 94 balls with 19 fours and 11 massive sixes against MP in their first match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Saturday (February 20).

Surya, meanwhile, has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit and in the IPL over the years and deserved the call-up. Rather his non-inclusion for Australia tour had raised many eyebrows. Rahul Tewatia was the most prolific Indian all-rounder in the IPL last year while playing for Rajasthan Royals and has been rewarded with a national call-up.

Varun Chakravarthy also included in the 19-man squad

The selectors decided to announce an expanded squad, which has been the new norm due to COVID-19 and Varun Chakravarthy has been recalled to the team. He was picked for the Australia tour but got injured while playing for KKR and was subsequently ruled out. T Natarajan replaced him and ended up making his debut in all the formats on the tour. The left-arm pacer has been retained in the squad after being rested for England Tests.

In Ravindra Jadeja’s absence, Axar Patel also returns to India’s T20I line-up. He made a stunning Test debut a week ago picking up a five-wicket haul against England in Chennai.

India’s T20I squad for England series: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Y Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, W Sundar, R Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep, Shardul Thakur.