New Delhi: K L Rahul will be leading India when they return to action in the T20I series against South Africa starting June 9, while Cheteshwar Pujara is back in the Test squad for the fifth and final Test of the series against England, scheduled to take place between July 1-5 in Edgbaston. The T20I squad features maiden India call-up for pace sensation Umran Malik, who has set the Indian Premier League on fire for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Umran, along with fresh face Arshdeep Singh have been rewarded with India berths for their stellar performances in the ongoing IPL, whereas star all-rounder Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik make their comeback in the international set-up.
The BCCI selection committee met on Sunday to pick India squads for the two series, and as expected, senior players Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been given a breather against South Africa to concentrate on the tour of England, where India will play three T20Is and two ODIs. Besides, India are scheduled to play two T20Is against Ireland on June 26 and 28, the squad for which is yet to be released
Among the notable returnees to the T20I team are Hardik and Karthik. The star all-rounder has had an impressive IPL 2022 season so far with the bat, scoring 413 runs in 13 innings at 41.30 and at a strike rate of 131.53 with four half-century scores. Hardik also bowled in eight innings, picking four wickets at an economy rate of 7.80, but the selectors are yet to confirm whether Hardik has been picked as an all-rounder or solely as a batter given that the Gujarat Titans skipper hasn’t bowled in the last five matches. This is the first time Hardik has been included in the Indian team since the T20 World Cup