Jasprit Bumrah named vice-captain; Shardul Thakur rested for both Test and T20I series
and Sanju Samson
have returned to India’s squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka, which begins in Lucknow on February 24.
Both Jadeja and Samson have recovered sufficiently from injuries while Shardul Thakur
has been rested for both the T20I and Test series. Jasprit Bumrah
, who had been rested for the white-ball series at home against West Indies, also returned to the squad, as vice-captain. He will lead a seam attack comprising Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj and the uncapped Avesh Khan.
Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant, who had exited the Kolkata bubble
after helping India wrap up the T20I series against West Indies, have been rested for the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Pant’s absence created an opportunity for Samson but he is not there in mere place-holding capacity. Chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma said: “Sanju is in our scheme of things. Most importantly we have to see which is a cricketer who will be useful on Australian wickets. He is definitely in our scheme of things [for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year].”
Allrounder Hardik Pandya
, who will be captaining the new franchise Gujarat Titans in the IPL, was not considered as he was not yet fully fit. “Hardik was a very important part of the Indian team,” Chetan said. “But after the injuries, until he is 100% fit, until we get a confirmation he is 100% fit, ready to go and that he is bowling and is match fit, we can’t consider him.”
Hardik has not played any domestic cricket since being left out of the Indian team but his IPL team named him the captain despite the fitness record. Chetan was asked if the selection process was being compromised if Hardik comes back to the World Cup squad based on his performance in the IPL. Chetan said runs in IPL was no guarantee to get his place back, but asked for support for Hardik. “What Hardik has done for the country, you shouldn’t forget in one minute.”