IPL winning captain Hardik Pandya was named skipper of the Indian team for the two-match T20 series against Ireland in Dublin on June 26 and 28. The only new face in the side is Maharashtra right-hand batter Rahul Tripathi, who was rewarded for his stellar batting during this edition of IPL where he scored more than 400 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“I am very happy that the selectors and everybody believed in me and whatever hard work I have put in, I have got the rewards. And hopefully, if I get an opportunity to play, I will try and give my best,” Tripathi said.
Pandya, who is Rishabh Pant’s deputy in the current T20I series against South Africa, was elevated to the leadership role and will join the Test squad in England after the completion of the home series.
Sanju Samson, whose profligacy has been well documented over the years, gets another shot at redemption, as he made a comeback for the series, having guided Rajasthan Royals to the IPL final. Also back in the squad is Suryakumar Yadav, who had sustained a wrist fracture. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been named vice-captain for the series.
The designated wicket keeper will be 36-year-old Dinesh Karthik if one goes by the squad list, while both Ishan Kishan and Samson can keep wickets if need be. Samson’s keeping isn’t considered up to the mark, so he could well be the third keeper in the mix.
Batting legend and current National Cricket Academy chairman VVS Laxman will be the head coach of the side during the two-match tour. NCA coaches Sitanshu Kotak, Sairaj Bahutule and Munish Bali will also accompany Laxman.
Rohit, Kohli and rest fly for England
Meanwhile, all-format skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and pacer Jasprit Burmah boarded the flight for London, for the tour of England. Among other Indian players who were on that plane to London were off-spinner R Ashwin, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, pacers Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna, batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari and wicketkeeper KS Bharat.
India head coach Rahul Dravid will join the Indian team in England after the conclusion of the T20 series against South Africa on Sunday. India will play England in one Test (the fifth Test of a series carried over from last year) from July 1-5 at Edgbaston, and then three ODIs and as many T20Is.