KL Rahul to lead second-string India squad in New Zealand T20Is

KL Rahul is widely seen as the favourite to captain India in the forthcoming T20I series against New Zealand at home. The series kicks off on November 17 in Jaipur, with matches in Ranchi and Kolkata following on November 19 and 21, respectively. Two Tests will follow the T20Is, from November 25-29 in Kanpur and December 3-7 in Delhi (Mumbai). All of India’s T20 World Cup squad members have had a hectic schedule in the last year, dating back to the 2020 IPL, which could lead to the selectors resting their first-choice players. Rahul will most likely captain a second-string team in their absence.

The seniors would benefit from a break, and Rahul is an important component of the team’s T20 framework. ToI quoted a source close to the BCCI as stating, “He is almost certain to lead.” The BCCI is also optimistic that just a small number of fans will return to the stadium for the 20-over series. “Yes, there will be fans, but it will not be at maximum capacity. A BCCI official added, “We would work closely with the local authorities to prepare the way forward.”

Some of the top contenders to open alongside Rahul in the series include Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Mayank Agarwal, while Yuzvendra Chahal and Shikhar Dhawan, who were both left out of the T20 World Cup squad, are also expected to be named. Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Chetan Sakariya, and Harshal Patel are all in the mix for pace bowling responsibilities, while Ravi Bishnoi might make an appearance in the spin column after a strong showing in the IPL.

Avesh Khan, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Chetan Sakariya, and Harshal Patel are all in the mix for pace bowling responsibilities, while Ravi Bishnoi might make an appearance in the spin column after a strong showing in the IPL. The national selection committee, led by Chetan Sharma, is scheduled to convene in the coming days to announce the squad for the series, as well as make a decision on India’s new T20I captain, as Virat Kohli is slated to step down after the World Cup.