The Indian T20I squad for the New Zealand tour was announced in Mumbai on Sunday. The T20I team will leave for New Zealand on January 20, a day after the final ODI between India and Australia at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on January 19. Virat Kohli and boys will play five T20 Internationals, three ODIs and two Test matches against the Black Caps.
Opener Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami, who were rested for the limited overs series against Sri Lanka, are back while Sanju Samson, who played in the last T20I game against Islanders, was dropped from the 16-member squad.
Meanwhile, India all-rounder Hardik Pandya had to be removed from the India ‘A team that is headed to New Zealand after he failed the fitness test in Mumbai on Saturday.
All-rounder Vijay Shankar has been picked as replacement and is headed to New Zealand where the team will play two 50-over warm-up games, three List A games and two four-day unofficial Tests.
The India ‘A' team doesn't undergo the Yo-Yo test anymore, but Pandya failed the mandatory fitness test that a player undergoes while making a comeback post rehabilitation.
Though Pandya had himself said that he was looking to get fit in time for the second half of the New Zealand tour, he was picked for the shadow tour by the national selectors.
Agency reports quoted Pandya saying: "I will be coming back before the New Zealand series, mid-way actually. That was the plan that I play some international games, the IPL and then the World T20. The biggest concern was the World T20 which touch wood is now in place.
"I was managing the back, tried everything possible not to get into surgery or anything. After trying everything, we came to the conclusion that it wasn't working. I noticed that I was not able to give my 100 per cent and that meant I was not doing justice to myself and the team. That is when I decided to go for the surgery."
India's T20I squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, S Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur
With Agency Inputs