Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya likely to be dropped from T20 squad for New Zealand home series: Reports

Rohit might be available for the T20Is since it could be his first series in charge as full-time captain.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 2 November 2021 4:59 pm

In big news ahead of India's home series against New Zealand, it is being learnt that pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are likely to be dropped from three T20Is that the Men in Blue are set to play against the Kiwis after the World Cup. While Hardik hasn't been at the peak of his fitness and neither has been performing well with the bat, Bhuvi has looked a pale shadow of himself in IPL 2021 as well as the ongoing T20 World Cup.

While earlier reports had suggested that the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and other senior cricketers could be rested for the T20Is before playing two Test matches, a fresh report claims that Rohit might be available for the T20Is since it could be his first series in charge as full-time captain. In case, the Hitman leads India in the T20Is, he will take a break from the Test matches, however, if he indeed misses the short-format games, KL Rahul is likely to lead the Indian team.

"First things first, the squads for New Zealand series need to be decided. Rohit hasn’t yet said that he doesn’t want to lead in the T20 Internationals against New Zealand. And why would he not want to lead? It’s his first series as full-time T20 captain," a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying in a PTI report.

BCCI keen on having a two-year plan in build-up to the 2023 World Cup

It should also be highlighted that since India has only three 50-overs matches in the current home season - all of them against West Indies, it is almost given that they would not want a separate captain for just three matches. The BCCI is also planning a two-year plan and Rohit Sharma is likely to be in the central leadership role in this two-year programme heading into the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Yuzvendra Chahal to be back in the mix

The same PTI report also claims that Yuzvendra Chahal along with other performers who did well in IPL 2021 - the likes of Avesh Khan and Ruturaj Gaikwad could well be in the mix for the three-match T20I series against the Kiwis. Venkatesh Iyer and perhaps even Umran Malik could be tried.