Rohit Sharma set to lead in New Zealand T20s

Rohit Sharma is likely to be chosen as captain of the Indian team for the T20s against New Zealand later this month.

Rohit Sharma has captained India in 29 limited-overs internationals so far.   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

Rohit Sharma is expected to lead the Indian team in the three T20 Internationals against New Zealand, starting November 17. The BCCI and the national selectors meet in the next couple of days to select India’s team for the Tests, ODIs and T20Is against New Zealand.

“First things first, the squads for New Zealand series need to be decided. Rohit hasn’t yet said that he doesn’t want to lead in the T20 Internationals against New Zealand. And why would he not want to lead? It’s his first series as full-time T20 captain,” a senior BCCI official told PTI when asked if Rohit would rest.

Some sources have indicated that top players like Rohit might just take a break from the two Test matches against New Zealand in Kanpur (November 25-29) and Mumbai (Dec 3-7). Those who are rested for the T20Is will come back for the Tests while some who play the shortest version will then get a break before the South Africa tour that starts end of December.

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India has only three 50-over games in the current home season with all the encounters against West Indies in February. The BCCI is keen on having a two-year master-plan going into the 2023 World Cup. While it is in no hurry to announce a new ODI captain, it is certain that it doesn’t want a separate white-ball captain for just three games with 17 T20 games in India till June.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya could be dropped from the T20 squad against New Zealand.

Some of the proven IPL performers such as Ruturaj Gaikwad, Avesh Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal are going to be back in the mix as the likes of Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah get some much-needed rest. All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who many feel could be Pandya’s replacement in future, may get a chance.

Someone like Jammu and Kashmir pace sensation Umran Malik could be a surprise selection as the next big event will be on the bouncy Australian decks. The likes of Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar may all be back for the T20 series while Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Umesh Yadav are set to come back for the red-ball format.

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