If reports are to be believed, the BCCI selection panel has seemingly rebooted the Indian T20I setup after the T20 World Cup 2021 debacle as they selected a new-look squad for the upcoming New Zealand T20I series at home which begins on November 17.
This will also mark the new era in Indian cricket with Rahul Dravid as the head coach and Rohit Sharma as the new T20I captain. The squad sees Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja being rested. On the other hand, Varun Chakravarthy and Hardik Pandya have been dropped from the team.
Hardik Pandya’s case was a curious one as he was picked in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup 2021 despite battling a back issue and a shoulder injury, which had kept him from bowling throughout the IPL 2021.
His inability to bowl even 2 overs to balance the team was a setback for the Men in Blue, but the selectors showed confidence that he’ll bowl at some point in the tournament.
He was even preferred as a pure batter in the playing XI, despite India losing to Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two matches of the tournament, effectively sealing their fate in the T20 World Cup.
Times of India reported that the selectors have probably learnt a harsh lesson by depending heavily on Hardik the allrounder. Furthermore, they don’t feel Hardik merits a place in the team purely as a batter. The focus is now on grooming batters who can bowl in white-ball cricket.
This is the primary reason why Venkatesh Iyer was picked for the New Zealand T20Is, as he recently bowled well in the IPL 2021 and picked 2/2 in 4 overs for Madhya Pradesh in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament.
As for Chakravarthy, the selectors are seemingly done with his mystery element, and with him carrying multiple injuries, they decided to drop him from the team.