India are likely to pick two squads for South Africa series and England tour. Photograph:( AFP )
The national selectors are reportedly set to pick two separate squads for Team India for the T20I series against South Africa at home and the Test tour of England.
The Chetan Sharma-led selection panel is reportedly set to pick two separate squads for Team India as they gear up to face South Africa in a five-match T20I series at home followed by a full-fledged tour of England post the conclusion of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. India will play a one-off Test, 3 T20Is and as many ODIs against England.
Last year, India had selected two separate squads when the Test team toured England while Shikhar Dhawan led the T20I team in a series in Sri Lanka. As per a report in Cricbuzz, a similar situation is expected to arise this time around. The senior players are likely to be rested from the T20I series against South Africa and will leave for England for the one-off Test.
As per the report, the likes of captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah are likely to be rested from the T20I series against South Africa which gets underway from June 09 and will conclude on June 19. The senior players will leave for England on June 16.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who was dropped from the Indian Test side earlier this year, is expected to make his comeback to the squad after his brilliant performances for Sussex in county cricket in England. Meanwhile, the T20I squad against Sri Lanka will see a mix of youth and experience.
While the likes of Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are expected to feature, youngsters like Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Ruturaj Gaikwad and others might get a chance as well. The selectors are likely to announce both squads by the end of this week. As per the report, Dhawan might lead the Indian team against South Africa in the T20I series.
Ajinkya Rahane to miss England tour
Veteran batter Ajnkya Rahane was part of the Indian squad which had taken a 2-1 lead in the Test series against England last year before the final game was called off due to COVID-19. However, Rahane is unlikely to make the cut in the squad this time around for the 5th Test.
As per Cricbuzz, Rahane has suffered a Grade III hamstring injury and is set to miss the England tour. He was dropped from the Test squad along with Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha earlier this year but was expected to return. However, the injury has come as a huge setback for the right-hander.
Rahane suffered the injury while playing for his IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders in their last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 14. He got injured while batting and didn't come out to filed during the game. While Rahane's absence isn't a huge concern, picking two squads can be a challenging task for the selectors.