New Delhi: The Indian cricket team has announced its squad for the upcoming three-match T20 series against Afghanistan, which will start on January 11. The squad features the return of two of India’s most prolific batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who have not played a T20 international for India since the ICC T20 World Cup semi-final against England in 2022. The inclusion of Rohit and Virat indicates that they are likely to be part of India’s T20 World Cup squad, which will be held in June this year.
The selectors announced the squad on Sunday, January 7, after much speculation about the availability of Rohit and Virat, who have been rested for the previous T20 series against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The squad also includes some young and promising players, such as Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Verma, Rinku Singh, and Ravi Bishnoi, who have performed well in domestic cricket and the Indian Premier League. The squad also has two wicketkeepers, Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma, as Ishan Kishan is out with an injury.
The squad, however, does not feature Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav, who are still recovering from their injuries. Hardik Pandya, India’s star all-rounder, sustained a back injury during the ICC ODI World Cup in 2023 and has not played any cricket since then. Suryakumar Yadav, who made his T20 debut for India in 2023, injured his shoulder during the South Africa tour and was ruled out of the series.
The T20 series against Afghanistan is an important one for India, as it will be their last international assignment before the T20 World Cup. The selectors will be keen to assess the form and fitness of the players and finalize the squad for the mega event. The series will also provide an opportunity for the young players to showcase their talent and impress the selectors. Afghanistan, on the other hand, will be looking to challenge India with their spin-heavy attack and fearless batting.
The series will be played across three venues, Mohali, Indore, and Bengaluru, from January 11 to January 17. India and Afghanistan have played five T20 internationals so far, with India winning four and one being abandoned due to rain.
India’s T20 squad for Afghanistan series: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Verma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Shivam Dubey, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.