Rahul, Axar to miss NZ white-ball series; Suryakumar, Ishan included for Australia Tests | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Batsman KL Rahul and all-rounder Axar Patel will skip the New Zealand white-ball home series due to family commitments but will return for the Australia Tests, The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Friday.
The newly formed selection committee led by Chetan Sharma announced multiple squads that saw Suryakumar Yadav featuring in the Test team for Australia series. Ishan Kishan has also been named in the India squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
India will play the New Zealand T20Is under the leadership of Hardik Pandya as the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli won’t be featuring in the shortest format.
The board announced the squad for the first two Tests against Australia which also has Ravindra Jadeja, whose inclusion in the squad is subject to fitness.
Prithvi Shaw, who recently smashed the second highest Ranji score ever — 379 against Assam — has also been included for the NZ T20Is.
The selection committee could not ignore Surya’s current form as he got his second call-up in a Test squad. He had earlier been a cover in 2021 at Kanpur during a Test series against New Zealand.
Whether he will get a chance or not in the playing XI can’t be predicted but his technique against spinners on Indian tracks is exemplary. With no Rishabh Pant in the mix, India are missing that X-factor in the middle-order, who can take the game away in one session.
Hence Surya’s addition is a welcome move in the 17-member squad for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Surya recently played two Ranji matches for Mumbai, scoring 90 vs Hyderabad and 95 vs Saurashtra in quick time. He has already played 79 first-class games with 5549 runs at an average of nearly 45.
As far as Ishan’s selection is concerned, it was more or less a straight forward one as he is a like for like replacement of Pant being a left-hander.
The New Zealand series, starting with the first ODI on January 18 in Hyderabad, will comprise 3 ODIs and T20Is each. The first Test against Australia will be played at Nagpur from February 9-13, while the second Test will be held at Delhi from February 17-21.
India’s squad for NZ ODIs:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat (wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik
India’s squad for NZ T20Is:
Hardik Pandya (C), Suryakumar Yadav (vc), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Y Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Prithvi Shaw, Mukesh Kumar
India’s squad for first 2 Tests vs Australia:
Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (vc), Shubman Gill, C Pujara, V Kohli, S Iyer, KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Suryakumar Yadav
(With inputs from PTI)

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