In the upcoming five-match T20I series against world champions Australia, India will rely on their young talents to uplift the spirits of the nation after the heartbreak at the ODI World Cup. With senior pros like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul missing, all eyes will be on Suryakumar Yadav, the lone player from India’s World Cup final XI.
Suryakumar Yadav, recognized as a valuable asset in the shorter format, will captain the side with Ruturaj Gaikwad as his deputy. This marks Yadav’s first assignment as an India captain, having previously led Mumbai in domestic cricket but never in the IPL. Shreyas Iyer, another significant member of India’s World Cup squad, will join as vice-captain for the last two T20Is as India rests the majority of their first-choice XI ahead of the white-ball series against South Africa, commencing on December 10 in Durban.
In the absence of both Shubman Gill and Rohit, Ishan Kishan is expected to take up the opening slot alongside Gaikwad. While Kishan was part of India’s World Cup squad, Gaikwad, having won a gold medal at the Asian Games in the same format, will make his appearance.
This arrangement suggests that the talented and dynamic opening batter Yashasvi Jaiswal may have to sit out, at least for the initial part of the T20I series. Jaiswal has had an impressive start to his international career with centuries in Test and T20Is.
Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma, whose prominence has grown since his India debut after a successful IPL, will be responsible for the middle-order. Rinku Singh, who has risen through the ranks after a sensational IPL, and all-rounder Shivam Dube will play crucial roles in the same department. Both are known for their ability to hit big shots, and the management will look to them for quick runs towards the end of the innings.
Turning to the bowling department, Axar Patel will make a comeback to the side after missing the World Cup due to a last-minute injury. While Axar can prove to be a smart contributor with the bat, the focus will be on his bowling. He will receive support from leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi in the spin department, who has been preferred over Yuzvendra Chahal.
Arshdeep Singh is likely to lead the pace department alongside Prasidh Krishna, who has been part of the team in recent series and was also a replacement for Hardik Pandya in the World Cup squad. The battle for the third seamer spot will be between Mukesh Kumar and Avesh Khan.