Jaiswal, Varma called up to India T20I squad; Samson returns

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Tilak Varma scored 343 runs for MI in IPL 2023.
Tilak Varma scored 343 runs for MI in IPL 2023. © BCCI/IPL

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma have been handed maiden call-ups to the India T20I squad while Sanju Samson returns to the team as the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel picked a 15-member squad for the upcoming five-match series against the West Indies, which will be played in the Caribbean and Florida. Senior players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been excluded again from the T20I setup, with Hardik Pandya continuing as captain while Suryakumar Yadav has been named his deputy.

India's T20I squad: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Surya Kumar Yadav (VC), Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya (C), Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.

Both Varma and Jaiswal had impressive stints with their respective sides in the 2023 edition of the IPL. Rajasthan Royals' opening batter Jaiswal was the fifth highest run-getter with 625 runs at an average of 43.21 and a strike rate of 181.13, with one century and five fifties. Varma, a middle batter for Mumbai Indians, tallied 343 runs at an average of close to 43, striking his runs at 164.11.

Axar Patel, who had missed the New Zealand T20Is for personal reasons, is back in the team and is one among four spinners in the squad, with the other three being wrist spinners. Avesh Khan also returns to the side having last played a T20I for India in August 2022, during the Asia Cup.

Rahul Tripathi, Prithvi Shaw, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar and Shivam Mavi, who were part of the T20I squad in the series against New Zealand earlier this year, have been excluded from the team to play against the West Indies.

Among the major surprises were the selection panel not considering Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rinku Singh, who both had a good IPL season. With 590 runs, Gaikwad was the seventh highest scorer and the highest run-getter for Chennai Super Kings while KKR's finisher Rinku scored 474 runs at an average of 59.25 and a strike rate of close to 150.

India play two Tests and three ODIs against the West Indies following which the five-match T20I series will take place. Trinidad will host the first game on August 3, followed by two matches in Guyana on August 6 and 8. The action will then shift to the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill, Florida which will host the last two games on August 12 and 13.




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