Suryakumar to lead India for Australia T20Is; Axar returns

Suryakumar to lead India for Australia T20Is; Axar returns
Suryakumar to lead India for Australia T20Is; Axar returns

With Hardik Pandya yet to recover from his ankle injury, Suryakumar Yadav will lead India in the five-match T20I series against Australia, starting November 23. Ruturaj Gaikwad will be the vice-captain for the first three games before handing over the responsibility to Shreyas Iyer who will join the squad for the last two matches.
The series starts just four days after India lost to Australia in the ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad. But with the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA roughly six months away, the focus will now shift to T20Is.
From the ODI World Cup squad, Suryakumar, Ishan Kishan and Prasidh Krishna are the only ones named for the whole series, while Axar Patel, who was ruled out of the World Cup with quadriceps strain, is back.

However, there was no room for Sanju Samson and Shahbaz Ahmed, who were part of the squad for the Ireland T20Is in August. Riyan Parag, who almost single-handedly carried Assam to the semi-final of the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and Abhishek Sharma, the Player of the Tournament, could not find a place either.

Apart from Axar, Washington Sundar is the other allrounder. Shivam Dube, too, is in the mix, but he has bowled only sporadically of late, sending down just four overs in eight games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Ravi Bishnoi is the only wristspinner in the squad.

This is the first time Suryakumar will be leading India. Previously, he has led Mumbai in 36 matches across formats in domestic cricket. Earlier this year, he also captained Mumbai Indians against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.

VVS Laxman, who had coached the India men’s team to the gold medal at the Asian Games, will be in charge of the team for the five T20Is. The first match will be played in Visakhapatnam before the caravan moves to Thiruvananthapuram (November 26), Guwahati (November 28), Raipur (December 1), and Bengaluru (December 3).

India’s squad for Australia T20Is: Suryakumar Yadav (capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad (vice-capt), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shivam Dube, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Shreyas Iyer (vice-capt, available only for last two T20Is)

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