Hardik Pandya was expected to come back but his fitness was apparently not suitable enough.

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India’s vice-captain in limited-overs, Rohit Sharma and star pacer, Mohammad Shami came back to India’s T20I squad for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, where the team will play five T20s, three ODIs and two Tests.

The duo was rested for the recently concluded Sri Lanka series after a hectic and highly productive 2019. Sanju Samson was dropped for the tour after playing just a sole game against Sri Lanka where he hit a six off the first ball he faced but could not score more runs.

The ODI and Test squads for the tour are yet to be announced but both Rohit and Shami are expected to be a part of it, with the former finding new-found life in the longest format of the game after being promoted to opener and scoring bucketloads of runs in the South Africa series.

Read | A detailed look at Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking Test series

All-rounder Hardik Pandya was expected to make his international comeback post his back surgery but his fitness was apparently not suitable enough for a full game. He was also pulled out of the India A squad which flew to New Zealand, with Vijay Shankar replacing him.

“Hardik Pandya was boarding the flight to New Zealand with the A team without playing a Ranji match. If we go by media reports, his trainer has said that there are workload issues with regards to his bowling. I think the BCCI will instruct Hardik to first play Ranji Trophy for Baroda and prove his fitness,” PTI had quoted in its report. 

The New Zealand tour will start from January 24 with the T20I series and is set to go on for a month, with the last Test ending on February 29. It will be India’s first tour abroad after a year and with that famous series victory in Australia, the team will be intent on repeating the feat down under.

India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Shami.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Sajjad Hussain