Team India are expected to announce their squads for the upcoming T20 Internationals and Test series against New Zealand on Tuesday, with this marking the beginning of a new busy schedule for team India ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup. And a frequently asked query by fans is concerning Virat Kohli's availability for the series as a batter
The India vs New Zealand series is likely to see the second string of players getting opportunities to take the field since a lot of the senior players are likely to be rested given that they have been inside a bio-bubble for nearly 5 months now, starting with the tour to England, the IPL and the T20 World Cup.
The Men in Blue are scheduled to face New Zealand in a three-match T20I series before they play two tests. While India might announce their best 15 for the Test series, the T20Is are likely to see a lot of youngsters who haven't played a lot of international cricket and possibly a few debutants.
On that note, let us discuss who could be left out and who could make the cut, especially in the shortest format of the game. Outgoing Indian T20 skipper Virat Kohli is likely to be rested along with senior bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Shami.
Bumrah had already cited fatigue from staying inside the bubble and it is learnt that he has opted out of the tour. Rohit Sharma too has been living inside the bubble for long and thus, it is unclear if the new Indian T20I captain will take charge immediately, given that the player will also be a key part of the Test team.
While a few reports suggest that Rohit Sharma will be the one leading the team in the series, a few others suggest that KL Rahul's name has been suggested for the T20Is. In terms of the 15 men team, T20 World Cup travelling reserves Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar are likely to be named in the squad.
Indian opening batter Shrikar Dhawan, and IPL's orange cap winner Ruturaj Gaikwad are also in contention. Venkatesh Iyer, who had a great IPL 2021 run in UAE too is in the fray for selection. Both Gaikwad and Venkatesh Iyer have been having a good Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy so far and might find a place in the squad.
Ace spinner R Ashwin, who had a good T20 World Cup campaign is likely to retain his place, while the spin duo of Varun Chakravarty and Rahul Chahar might be dropped with Yuzvendra Chahal likely to make the cut. In the pace department, Mohammed Siraj is likely to come in, while Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel too will push for a place in the team with Bhuvneshwar Kumar likely to be dropped.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel.
Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Srikar Bharat, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha