Virat Kohli will captain the India side for the three-match T20I series against New Zealand. The 16-man squad for the T20I series includes call-ups for Shreyas Iyer and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj, while Ashish Nehra, who will be playing the final match of his international career in Delhi has also been included in the squad.
Amidst reports that Virat Kohli might be rested for the T20I series, India have sent out a strong message by picking out a full-strength squad that includes the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
Ajinkya Rahane misses out while KL Rahul, Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer all feature and once again there is no place in the side for either Yuvraj Singh or Suresh Raina. The bigger surprise is probably the omission of Kedar Jadhav, who has been an integral part of the Indian limited-overs side for the last 12 months.
Consistent performances in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad and an impressive tour of South Africa and series against New Zealand have meant that the 23-year-old Siraj has received his maiden India call-up. The fast bowler is likely to get a chance in the series, especially with the first T20I set to be Nehra's last.
Another player, who has been rewarded for consistent performances has been Shreyas Iyer. The Mumbai batsman has been prolific in the last 12 months, where he has scored a double century against Australia in a warm-up match, match-winning century in the final of the tri-series against South Africa A and a 90 against New Zealand A in Vizag earlier this month.
The wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav take their place in the squad along with Axar Patel, which means there is no place for the experienced duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who are both in the Test squad for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka.
The T20I series begins on November 1, with the first match, which will also be the last of Nehra's career, taking place at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi. The second T20I will take place at Rajkot on November 4 with the final T20I at Thiruvananthapuram on November 7.
Here is the complete squad:
Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra and Mohammed Siraj.