India have announced their squads for the upcoming T20I series against South Africa and the fifth Test against England.
The five-match T20I series is due to take place next month with matches running from the 9th to the 19th June, whilst the Test against England is the fifth Test of the series that was postponed at the end of last summer and starts on July 1.
Here are five takeaways from the announcements of those squads.
Maiden call ups for Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh
Umran Malik was a breakout star of last season’s IPL and has continued to impress as he regularly tops 150kph in the speed charts. Such speed has unsurprisingly excited the masses and this call-up to the T20I squad represents the first time that Malik has been included in any international squad. There had been some debate as to whether he would be included in the red-ball squad as well despite only playing three first-class matches, but for now Malik’s inclusion extends only to the T20I group. Meanwhile, 23 year-old left arm quick Arshdeep Singh also has earned his first international call up after another strong season for Punjab Kings.
Old is gold – Karthik and Pujara return
Karthik, 36, has not played for India since 2019, but an exceptional IPL where he has scored 287 runs at a strike-rate of 191.33 has seen him force his way back into the white-ball squad. Similarly, the 34-year-old Pujara, who was left out of the home series against Sri Lanka, has earned a Test recall after some dominant performances in the County Championship.
Sanju Samson omitted
Samson’s international career is yet to take off in the way it threatened to when he debuted as a 20-year-old back in 2015, and despite a strong showing in the IPL this year, he has been left out of the white-ball squad after featuring in the series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
Big names rested
All of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have been left out from the white-ball squad as they’re given a charge to rest and recuperate as three of the premier all format players for India.
Still no Rahul Tripathi
Tripathi is yet to earn an international call up and many thought this squad would be his chance with the likes of Kohli and Rohit being rested. Tripathi has scored almost 400 runs in this season’s IPL with a strike-rate of 161.73. Since the start of last season, he has the third-highest strike-rate of those with more than 700 runs.