Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tilak Varma have been named to the India T20I squad for the first time, while Sanju Samson has returned, as the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel named a 15-man squad for the upcoming five-match series against the West Indies, which will be played in the Caribbean and Florida. Senior players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been dropped from the T20I squad, with Hardik Pandya remaining captain and Suryakumar Yadav selected as his deputy.
Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Surya Kumar Yadav (VC), Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya (C), Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar are the Indian T20I team.
Both Varma and Jaiswal had strong seasons with their respective teams in the 2023 IPL. With 625 runs at an average of 43.21 and a strike rate of 181.13, Rajasthan Royals opener Jaiswal was the fifth greatest run-getter, with one century and five fifties. Varma, a middle hitter for the Mumbai Indians, scored 343 runs at an average of nearly 43, striking out 164 times.
Axar Patel has returned to the team after missing the New Zealand T20Is due to personal reasons. He is one of four spinners in the squad, with the other three being wrist spinners. Avesh Khan, who last played a T20I for India in August 2022 during the Asia Cup, also returns to the squad.
Rahul Tripathi, Prithvi Shaw, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, and Shivam Mavi, who played in the T20I series against New Zealand earlier this year, have been left out of the selection to face the West Indies.
Among the major surprises were the selection committee’s failure to consider Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rinku Singh, both of whom had successful IPL seasons. Gaikwad was Chennai Super Kings’ eighth top scorer and highest run-getter with 590 runs, while KKR’s finisher Rinku got 474 runs at an average of 59.25 with a strike rate close to 150.
Following two Tests and three One-Day Internationals against the West Indies, India will play a five-match T20I series. The first game will be held in Trinidad on August 3, followed by two matches in Guyana on August 6 and 8. The final two games will be played on August 12 and 13 at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill, Florida.