Suryakumar to lead India for T20Is in Australia; Axar returns

Suryakumar to lead India for T20Is in Australia;  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. He yesterday will join the team for the last two games.
From the ODI World Cup squad, Suryakumar, Ishan Kishan and Prasidh Krishna are the only ones named for the entire series, while Axar Patel, who was ruled out of the World Cup with a quadriceps strain, is back.

However, there was no place for Sanju Samson and Shahbaz Ahmed, who were part of Ireland’s T20I squad in August. Riyan Parag, who almost single-handedly led Assam to the semi-final of the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali, and Abhishek Sharma, the Player of the Tournament, could also not find a place.

Apart from Axar, Washington Sundar is the other all-rounder. Shivam Dube is also in the mix, but he has bowled only sporadically of late, managing just four overs in eight games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Ravi Bishnoi is the only player in the team.

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

The series will begin just four days after India lost to Australia in the ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad. But with about six months to go until the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the United States, the focus will now turn to the T20Is.

The first match of the series will be played in Visakhapatnam before the caravan moves to Thiruvananthapuram (November 26), Guwahati (November 28), Raipur (December 1) and Bengaluru (December 3). VVS Laxman will be India’s coach as Rahul Dravid has been given a break.

India team for Australia T20I: Suryakumar Yadav (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad (vice-captain), 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-captain, available for last two T20Is only)