Hardik Pandya, who was not named in India’s T20I squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, is likely to be replaced by Suryakumar Yadav if he doesn’t get recover completely from his injury before the BCCI announce the squad for the Test and ODI series. Ajinkya Rahane might also be considered for the white-ball format.
According to a report by news agency PTI, Suryakumar is being considered by the selection committee because of his hitting prowess. Also, the ODIs in New Zealand will be an extension of the T20s in the year which will also see the World Cup in the shortest format.
The same report suggests that Ajinkya Rahane might be brought into the ODI line-up’s middle-order in place of Kedar Jadhav.
“Kedar is certainly not going to play 2023 World Cup and doesn’t even bowl now. Since he is not in T20, no point in carrying him to New Zealand. Possibly Surya or Rahane should be tried,” a BCCI source, privy to selection matters, was quoted as saying by PTI.
However, the national selectors are likely to wait for a clear report on Pandya’s injury before announcing the Test and ODI squad.
“There isn’t going to be too much of brainstorming with regards to the team. But a fit Hardik is a necessity. The moment NCA (National Cricket Academy) gives Hardik green light to play competitive cricket, he will be an automatic choice. So the selectors will wait for a few more days,” the source added.
Also, the stupendous run of KL Rahul in white-ball cricket makes him a firm favourite to earn his Test recall. Skipper Virat Kohli also reaffirmed that it would be hard to leave Rahul from any squad.
However, with Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal as the regular openers and fit-again Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill knocking on the doors, accommodating Rahul will prove to be a headache for the selectors.