Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Rahul Tewatia won their first call-up for India on Saturday for next month’s T20 five-game series against England as the selectors reward them for their outstanding performances in the IPL.
Batsman Rishabh Pant, wicket keeper, versatile Axar Patel and stimulator Bhuvneswar Kumar also returned in a fresh-looking squad.
The selectors have named a 19-man squad for the series from March 12 in Ahmedabad with the aim of trying new faces such as Kishan, Yadav and Tewatia during a World Cup year.
All three have had stellar IPLs although Yadav has formed the backbone of the Mumbai Indians’ staff over the years.
Questions were raised when Suryakumar Yadav was not part of the squad for the series in Australia but his long wait is finally over.
Kishan has also had a good IPL and has been in hot red form in white ball cricket. He got the call one day when he smashed 173 of 93 balls for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Tewatia, who plays for the Rajasthan Royals and Haryana, beat West Indians Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an IPL over last year to secure a superb victory for his side.
Kuldeep Yadav, Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey were dropped sideways while pacemaker Jasprit Bumrah was at rest. Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja were not included as they are still recovering from injuries they sustained during the Australia tour.
Pant returns to the squad after a series of tests in Australia and his good form continued in the home series against England. Bhuvneshwar comes back to the side after recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered in the IPL. He recently played for UP in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Patel, who last played a T20 in February 2018, is also back after playing regularly in the IPL. His selection comes after making a five-wicket turn in his first test and replaces Jadeja identically.
Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who missed the Australian series due to injury, has also been named to the squad.
Left coach T Natarajan has normally retained his place after an impressive first series in Australia.
Both Kishan and Pant have been appointed wicket keepers, so it remains to be seen if KL Rahul will continue to keep the wickets.
All five matches will be played in Ahmedabad.
Indian T20I team: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket keeper) , Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.