Samson is back; Jaiswal and Varma get selected for the Indian T20I team

Ajit Agarkar’s selection panel selected a 15-member squad for the upcoming five-match series against the West Indies, which will be played in the Caribbean and Florida, and gave first-time call-ups to Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma as well as Sanju Samson. Senior players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have once more been dropped from the T20I lineup. Hardik Pandya will now serve as captain, and Suryakumar Yadav will serve as his backup.

Sanju Samson (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Surya Kumar Yadav (VC), Hardik Pandya (C), Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, and Mukesh Kumar make up India’s T20I team.

In the IPL 2023 season, Varma and Jaiswal both enjoyed successful runs with their respective teams. With 625 runs at an average of 43.21 and a strike rate of 181.13, Jaiswal, the opening batsman for the Rajasthan Royals, was the fifth-highest run-scorer. He also had one hundred and five fifty-run innings. Varma, a middle batter for the Mumbai Indians, totaled 343 runs with a strikeout rate of 164.11 and an average of close to 43.

Axar Patel, one of four spinners in the squad—the other three are wrist spinners—is back after missing the New Zealand T20Is due to personal reasons. Avesh Khan also rejoins the team after his last appearance for India in a T20I was in August 2022 at the Asia Cup.

The T20I squad for the series against New Zealand earlier this year included Rahul Tripathi, Prithvi Shaw, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, and Shivam Mavi; these players have been left out of the lineup to face the West Indies.

One of the biggest surprises was the selection committee’s decision to pass on Rinku Singh and Ruturaj Gaikwad, who both had successful IPL seasons. Gaikwad scored the most runs for Chennai Super Kings (590), ranking sixth overall, while Rinku finished second for KKR with 474 runs at an average of 59.25 and a strike rate of over 150.

India will play the West Indies in two Tests and three ODIs before the five-match T20I series begins. The first match will take place in Trinidad on August 3, and then Guyana will host two additional games on August 6 and 8. The final two games will be played on August 12 and 13 in Lauderhill, Florida, where the action will thereafter shift.

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