The transition phase in Indian cricket kick-started on Tuesday (December 27) with premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya being named captain of the T20 side for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka starting January 3. The 27-year-old Baroda man has also been named as the vice-captain of the ODI squad, indicating current regime’s plans to see him as long-term white ball leader once 35-year-old Rohit Sharma decides to call time on his illustrious international career.
While Rohit, recuperating from a finger injury was named captain of the ODI series which is to follow the T20Is, it is understandable that the shortest format will now feature fresh faces and primarily IPL performers. Even Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are also not part of the T20I format and there is an indication that the duo along with Rohit might not be picked again keeping the 2024 T20 World Cup in mind.
#TeamIndia squad for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.#INDvSL @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/iXNqsMkL0Q— BCCI (@BCCI) December 27, 2022
The troika will probably be asked to concentrate on 50-over format with a World Cup set to be played in India next year. “Yes, there will be no official announcement that Rohit has been removed from T20I captaincy but he along with Kohli and Rahul will be phased out from the format. Obviously, Rohit’s dislocated thumb injury hasn’t completely healed although he has started training. But phasing out has indeed started,” a senior BCCI source privy to the development told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Suryakumar Yadav, for his mindblowing one year, is now the new vice-captain in T20Is. Pandya, who led Gujarat Titans to IPL triumph during the last edition was touted as Rohit’s replacement after India lost to England in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup playing archaic cricket.
While Rohit is still recovering from thumb dislocation, the BCCI press release doesn’t state if it is a permanent change or just for one series. The T20I team has a fresh look with two uncapped pacers Shivam Mavi and Mukesh Kumar being inducted into the shortest format.
Mavi was picked up by Titans for Rs 6 crore, while Bengal’s Mukesh was snapped up by Delhi Capitals for Rs 5.50 crore. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rahul Tripathi, two powerhouse IPL performers, made it to the T20 side.
The ODI side boasts of a more experienced look with Mohammed Shami coming back from shoulder injury.
India’s squad for Sri Lanka T20Is: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Ishan Kishan (WK), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar.
ODI Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya (VC), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh.
(with PTI inputs)