Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar, Tewatia earn maiden T20I call-ups

Hours after Ishan Kishan blazed away to a spectacular 173 off just 94 balls in Jharkhand’s Vijay Hazare Trophy fixture against Madhya Pradesh, he earned himself his maiden T20I call-up as the Indian selectors named a 19-man squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against England. Along with Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Rahul Tewatia earned their maiden call-ups too.

T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.

Manish Pandey, who missed out the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy due to an injury, Sanju Samson and Mayank Agarwal have all been left out of the squad, while Axar Patel gets a recall having last played a white-match ball for India way back in February 2018 against South Africa.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar makes a comeback after having sustained a thigh muscle injury in IPL 2020, while Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, who are regulars in India’s T20I squad otherwise, appear to have been rested in the middle of a hectic season.

Kishan, who had an impressive IPL with 516 runs, seems to have risen ahead of Samson in the pecking order, and was named as a wicketkeeper in the squad alongside Rishabh Pant. Pant gets a recall after being left out of India’s white-ball squad Down Under in Australia.

Tewatia comes in with the weight of 255 runs in 14 games in IPL 2020, averaging 42.50. He became an overnight sensation after taking the Royals to an unlikely win over Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings), when he belted Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over. He also picked up 10 wickets with an economy rate of just over 7 during the tournament.

Suryakumar, 30, has knocked on the selection doors for years now and finally gets a call-up. He put up another set of impressive performances in the IPL 2020, scoring 480 runs which included four fifties.

Pacer T Natarajan, who had impressed on his maiden tour of Australia, retained his place in the T20I squad, while Varun Chakravarthy, who was initially slated for a debut in Australia after an impressive IPL but missed out with a shoulder injury, is in with a chance now after being named in the squad once again. Fit-again Rohit Sharma also returns after missing the white-ball leg in Australia.

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