The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the Indian squad for the upcoming T20 international series against Afghanistan after the selectors' meeting in Mumbai on Sunday, January 6.
The biggest news from the squad announcement is the return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the Indian T20I team. They both played T20I cricket over a year ago before shifting focus solely on ODI and Test cricket.
Notably, the T20 World Cup 2024 will be held this year in the West Indies and USA in June (1-29), which could be the motivation behind Rohit and Kohli's return to the shortest format of international cricket.
The Afghanistan series is the last bilateral T20I assignment for the Men in Blue before the World Cup.
Rohit, Kohli available for T20I selection
The duo had informed the selectors beforehand about their availability for the home series against the Afghans.
Shivam Dube has been recalled to the T20I squad while Shubman Gill, Tilak Varma and Washington Sundar have also retained their places.
Pandya & Surya ruled out
All-rounder Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav, who were captaining the T20I side in the absence of Rohit, are still not fit enough to resume playing and were not available for selection for the Afghanistan series.
Pandya injured his ankle during the ICC World Cup 2023 in November while Surya also twisted his ankle during the recent 3rd T20I in South Africa last month which ruled them out of action for several weeks.
India squad and series itinerary
The three T20Is between India and Afghanistan will be played in Mohali, Indore and Bengaluru on January 11, 14 and 17 respectively.
India T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Yashavi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.